A tale of two parties: Tensions rise between 5C event organizers following recent party shutdowns

Different people talk at a party with a colorful backdrop.
ASCMC has instituted a new policy around their parties in response to issues at parties earlier in the semester, to which ASPC responded with a new policy of their own. (Bella Pettengill • The Student Life)

Following the shutdown of Scripps College’s Halloween party and Claremont McKenna College’s Monte Carlo party the weekend before, several 5C student governments have implemented new policies in response to safety concerns for upcoming 5C parties, such as Yule Ball and Snow Globe, which both take place this Saturday. 

Hosted by ASPC’s Annual Committee, a subcommittee of the Events Committee, and the ASCMC respectively, both parties are taking place Dec. 3. Pomona College’s Yule Ball is open to the 4Cs excluding CMC, while Snowglobe is CMC-only with the exception that CMC students may bring a plus-one from the 5Cs.

“Given that a large majority of incidents at Monte Carlo were by non-CMC students, this policy allows ASCMC to ensure accountability and a commitment to safety from our own student body while welcoming members of the broader 5C community,” ASCMC president Josh Nagra CMC ’23 said in a statement to TSL.

Some issues at the Halloween parties, and more recently at Pomona and Pitzer College’s joint Hoedown Throwdown, involved students storming fences surrounding the party vicinity along with the use of fraudulent wristbands. This party was similarly shut down early due to students from the other colleges attempting to sneak in, bringing in alcohol while disregarding campus deans and security, the Pomona Events Committee (PEC) said in a statement to TSL. 

Nagra told CMC students in an Oct. 29 email regarding the Monte Carlo party fiasco that CMC parties may be 1C plus-one guest in the future, although the policy was not yet formalized. 

ASCMC said in a Nov. 27 email that PEC misinterpreted the policy as being enacted for the foreseeable future, resulting in the restriction of Yule Ball to a 4C party. 

To resolve the situation, ASCMC’s Vice President of Student Activities, Chris LaRovere, and ASCMC’s President, Josh Nagra, said they reached out to ASPC to clarify the 5C party policies.

“Despite good faith attempts, conversations with PEC were not productive,” ASCMC said in its Nov. 27 statement to CMC students. “While we are disappointed that our students will not be able to attend Yule Ball, we are excited at the opportunity to welcome students from the other 4Cs to CMC’s campus for Snow Globe.”

The policy of CMC-only plus-one will continue to be applied to future ASCMC parties on a case-by-case basis, Nagra said. 

“We will use data from ASCMC events to ensure student safety as we progress with programming,” Nagra said to TSL. “As before, any attendance policy for future events is undecided and dependent on the safety outcomes of events like Snowglobe.”

In response, PEC said in a statement to TSL that, because Pomona students are unable to attend events at CMC paid for by student fees, CMC students will likewise be unable to attend Pomona events.

“If CMC can commit to 5C parties and inclusion of Pomona students at their large events, we are able to include them at all of our events open to all of the colleges,” the PEC Annual Committee said to TSL. “It would be an unfair use of Pomona student fees to allow CMC students to take advantage of them without reciprocation.”

The PEC Annual Committee added that, if other colleges announce that their parties will be 1C or 1C plus a guest, similar actions will be taken.

One source of contention surrounding party attendance is the use of wristbands to set safe capacities for 5C parties. CMC’s parties this year were wristbanded, something that ASCMC and other student governments have used to ensure safe capacities at events for years, ASCMC said in the Nov. 27 statement.

“The alternative system of allowing students in until a set capacity is no different than wristbanding,” ASCMC said. “Wristbanding prevents the disappointing situation in which students anticipating attending an event are refused access at the door, ensuring that students kept in line can enter the event.”

Despite Pomona events being free of charge and previously being open to 5C students, according to the Annual Committee, CMC charged a fee to attend Monte Carlo. Wristbands for Monte Carlo were not subsidized by ASPC, with the Annual Committee citing their free-to-attend events.

“The idea of subsidization for an event like Monte Carlo is ridiculous when the use of student fees is considered,” the PEC Annual Committee said to TSL. “This is why we find a problem with CMC requiring Pomona students to pay for an event; the events we throw are just as expensive as Monte Carlo or sometimes more expensive.”

Citing the high demand that outweighed the limited number of wristbands provided to Pomona students for CMC’s two 5C parties, PEC told TSL that wristbanding has created an exclusive atmosphere in an environment that is meant to be inclusive of all consortium students.

“We plan every party with the safety of our students in mind while also thinking about how we can expand capacity limits to ensure that everyone who wishes to attend is able to do so,” PEC Annual Committee said. “Of course, we will always have capacity restrictions to ensure safety; not wristbanding events allows a greater number of people to attend given that even if people have to wait in a line to enter, they will eventually gain entry once people leave.”

At Scripps’ Halloween party, wristbands were used to set restrictions on the number of attendees. However, counterfeit wristbands were abundant and even those with real wristbands were turned away, according to an email sent by Scripps’ Associated Students to Scripps students on Nov. 9.

In their statement, SAS urged administration to provide students with more agency and trust in executing and attending events. SAS also announced their intent to communicate with administration in resolving these issues. 

“Moving forward Student Affairs will continue to partner with SAS alongside key departments to ensure 5C events are safe, inclusive and center community vibrancy,” Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Adriana di Bartolo-Beckman said in an email to TSL. 

As of Dec. 1, Scripps’ administration has yet to address SAS’ concerns but said they will get back to them, SAS president Megan Chow SC ’23 in an email to TSL.

Nagra told TSL that the exclusion of CMC students from Yule Ball will not affect who is included in future parties at CMC. 

“We are in communication with the other 4Cs and are encouraged by the solidarity we have been granted,” Nagra said. “Although we are disappointed by the policy, ASCMC will continue to value an inclusive, diverse and fun set of programming for CMCers and students at the 5Cs.”

The PEC similarly emphasized their commitment to returning to a consortium-wide social scene. 

“It is important to highlight that Pomona has been and will continue to be dedicated to 5C parties,” PEC Annual Committee said to TSL. “It is imperative that CMC and the other colleges remain the same in order to return to a vibrant social life across all colleges.”

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