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Seniors received an email this evening from Class President William Robelo-Lara announcing the cancellation of traditional post-thesis celebrations.  Such celebrations typically include a champagne gathering around the fountain outside McKenna Auditorium.  Email text as follows:

Dear Seniors,

I am truly apologetic to those of you who are about to turn in your thesis this semester. Unfortunately, the Dean of Students Office decided to end the Senior Thesis Champagne Fountain Party. The Dean of Students office received several complaints by professors due to the ruckus outside of their classrooms and by underclassmen who ended up getting wet when they passed by the fountain. I’ve talked to Jim about this several times, and the Dean of Students have made up their mind and are ending this tradition for good. For those of you who are submitting your thesis this semester, I will give you your champagne bottle at the Senior Apartments. There’s not much I can do to reinstate this tradition, but what I can do is make our Senior Thesis Party the best that it can be.

Robelo-Lara followed-up with another email reassuring seniors that he would take up the matter with the Alumni Association and encouraged students to contact the Dean of Students directly.

Seniors who completed their thesis last semester celebrate at the fountain.

140 COMMENTS

  1. GTFO, Dean of Students. The beginning of Spellman’s crackdown, but it won’t work. We’ll run her out of the school.

    I haven’t met any professors that have been ticked over the fountain parties–the one’s I’ve had have always chuckled and given them the time since the seniors have worked hard on thesis.

    But like everyone’s been saying–take away your senior gifts, and don’t promise on giving ANY money to this school in the near future.

    It will probably end up like a freaking monastery.

  2. GTFO, Dean of Students. The beginning of Spellman’s crackdown, but it won’t work. We’ll run her out of the school.

    I haven’t met any professors that have been ticked over the fountain parties–the one’s I’ve had have always chuckled and given them the time since the seniors have worked hard on thesis.

    But like everyone’s been saying–take away your senior gifts, and don’t promise on giving ANY money to this school in the near future.

    It will probably end up like a freaking monastery.

  3. I, for one, will not be giving a senior class gift unless and until this decision is reversed. I encourage all other CMC seniors to consider refraining as well.

  4. I, for one, will not be giving a senior class gift unless and until this decision is reversed. I encourage all other CMC seniors to consider refraining as well.

  5. If they can unilaterally take away the fountain party, why don’t seniors who complete their thesis just unilaterally decide to obtain champagne and get in the fountain at the same time on the day thesis is due?

    Also: if you’re going to take away a senior tradition, how completely inappropriate is it to take it away after half the class has already been able to experience it?

  6. If they can unilaterally take away the fountain party, why don’t seniors who complete their thesis just unilaterally decide to obtain champagne and get in the fountain at the same time on the day thesis is due?

    Also: if you’re going to take away a senior tradition, how completely inappropriate is it to take it away after half the class has already been able to experience it?

  7. Spellman needs to be fired. Who does she think that she is? We’re paying 50k a year to be here. She works for us, not the other way around.

  8. Spellman needs to be fired. Who does she think that she is? We’re paying 50k a year to be here. She works for us, not the other way around.

  9. It’s easy to blame the new staff member, but this is probably all of DOS — Dean Huang, Nauls, etc.

    Spellman does seem to be off to a bad start though.

  10. It’s easy to blame the new staff member, but this is probably all of DOS — Dean Huang, Nauls, etc.

    Spellman does seem to be off to a bad start though.

  11. For those wondering, she killed all of the traditions while she was at Sarah Lawrence.

  12. What’s the deal with DoS’s terrible communication skills lately? Shouldn’t they have the — sorry to be rude — balls to tell us directly when they’re canceling things we like, rather than making ASCMC do it?

  13. For those wondering, she killed all of the traditions while she was at Sarah Lawrence.

  14. What’s the deal with DoS’s terrible communication skills lately? Shouldn’t they have the — sorry to be rude — balls to tell us directly when they’re canceling things we like, rather than making ASCMC do it?

  15. @Daniel,

    I already gave money. But I’m gonna rescind the pledge to donate money next yr or the yrs to come unless they change their mind!

  16. @Daniel,

    I already gave money. But I’m gonna rescind the pledge to donate money next yr or the yrs to come unless they change their mind!

  17. If we get e-mails from Dean Huang about his thoughts on maybe-leaving-CMC-for-Amherst-but-actually-deciding-to-stay-just-in-case-you-were-wondering, then why don’t we get any dialog about the killing of two of CMC’s major long-lived traditions this year? No senior had any knowledge of this decision until this week. Nobody was consulted. No statement was issued.

    Until the e-mail from Dean Huang moments ago. After he, John Faranda, and others received numerous e-mails about the matter in the last hour.

  18. If we get e-mails from Dean Huang about his thoughts on maybe-leaving-CMC-for-Amherst-but-actually-deciding-to-stay-just-in-case-you-were-wondering, then why don’t we get any dialog about the killing of two of CMC’s major long-lived traditions this year? No senior had any knowledge of this decision until this week. Nobody was consulted. No statement was issued.

    Until the e-mail from Dean Huang moments ago. After he, John Faranda, and others received numerous e-mails about the matter in the last hour.

  19. This will probably end up being updated in the article (at which point this comment can be deleted) but Jeff Huang just sent out this e-mail:

    Dear CMC Students,

    It’s my understanding that there is some panic about potential changes to the Senior Thesis Day celebration in late April. Please allow me to explain.

    I recognize that the Senior Thesis Day celebration has become an important tradition at CMC. It is a tradition that has been around for a long time. In the last few years, we’ve noticed a lot of damage associated with this tradition. Some students have had their laptops damaged, one student was dressed for an interview when she was dunked with water, and some professors have complained that it’s difficult to teach with a sound system outside.

    I asked Jim Nauls to speak with the Senior Class President about ways we can mitigate some of these concerns. But there was never any intention to cancel the event outright. If anything, mitigating some of the negative factors was a way of making sure that we are not pressed to have to cancel this tradition.

    I will ask Jim to restart discussions with William Robelo-Lara about how we can continue the event, mitigate the damage, and make sure it is safe and fun. Please bear with us and give us a little time.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Huang

    • I clearly don’t know the whole story, but if you have a computer, or if you are dressed for an interview, wouldn’t you take a detour? Everyone knows what to expect on Thesis day. Make plans, and avoid it.

    • What idiot would go to an interview and go by a fountain when you can clearly see bunches of people partying in it?

      Darwin’s law.

    • Seems like Jim Nauls dropped the ball and went too dictatorlike. If this is the case, I expect an apology.

    • HAHA, and restart the discussions? There was no impression that there even WERE discussions. Sorry, Dean Huang. Love ya, but this is a load of saving-face garbage. A little too late. Should have thought about this before you decided to throw away a tradition.

      One of my lit professors last semester was surprised that none of us in his class had ever hung someone in effigy before, and stated that the goofy construction site in front of that new Kravis building would be perfect to do it, if we so chose to.

      Dean Spellman, anyone?

  20. This will probably end up being updated in the article (at which point this comment can be deleted) but Jeff Huang just sent out this e-mail:

    Dear CMC Students,

    It’s my understanding that there is some panic about potential changes to the Senior Thesis Day celebration in late April. Please allow me to explain.

    I recognize that the Senior Thesis Day celebration has become an important tradition at CMC. It is a tradition that has been around for a long time. In the last few years, we’ve noticed a lot of damage associated with this tradition. Some students have had their laptops damaged, one student was dressed for an interview when she was dunked with water, and some professors have complained that it’s difficult to teach with a sound system outside.

    I asked Jim Nauls to speak with the Senior Class President about ways we can mitigate some of these concerns. But there was never any intention to cancel the event outright. If anything, mitigating some of the negative factors was a way of making sure that we are not pressed to have to cancel this tradition.

    I will ask Jim to restart discussions with William Robelo-Lara about how we can continue the event, mitigate the damage, and make sure it is safe and fun. Please bear with us and give us a little time.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Huang

    • I clearly don’t know the whole story, but if you have a computer, or if you are dressed for an interview, wouldn’t you take a detour? Everyone knows what to expect on Thesis day. Make plans, and avoid it.

    • What idiot would go to an interview and go by a fountain when you can clearly see bunches of people partying in it?

      Darwin’s law.

    • Seems like Jim Nauls dropped the ball and went too dictatorlike. If this is the case, I expect an apology.

    • HAHA, and restart the discussions? There was no impression that there even WERE discussions. Sorry, Dean Huang. Love ya, but this is a load of saving-face garbage. A little too late. Should have thought about this before you decided to throw away a tradition.

      One of my lit professors last semester was surprised that none of us in his class had ever hung someone in effigy before, and stated that the goofy construction site in front of that new Kravis building would be perfect to do it, if we so chose to.

      Dean Spellman, anyone?

  21. Sounds like he’s just trying to save face, to be honest. They wouldn’t have said shit if there wasn’t an uproar.

  22. Sounds like he’s just trying to save face, to be honest. They wouldn’t have said shit if there wasn’t an uproar.

  23. If you see a group of happy people playing with water and you don’t want to get wet, even a child knows that it’s time to walk a few more steps to avoid it. It’s that simple.

  24. If you see a group of happy people playing with water and you don’t want to get wet, even a child knows that it’s time to walk a few more steps to avoid it. It’s that simple.

  25. Champagne + Fountain + Thesis day = Tradition

    Anything less is not tradition. Simple.

  26. Champagne + Fountain + Thesis day = Tradition

    Anything less is not tradition. Simple.

  27. I think it’s impressive that Dean Huang sent that email out at 10 at night. And I think we shouldn’t demonize the new lady too soon.

    • Here here for Dean Huang. It’s not the DoS’s job to treat us like we’re at some luxury spa. Let’s lose the entitled attitude. Does this suck? Yes. Was it handled poorly and announced at a bad time? Yes. (Reminds me of some recent announcements about something in Jerusalem…)

      Still, we need to stop demonizing people and panicking. CMC’s not just about booze…or at least it shouldn’t be.

      • This is so much less about alcohol than it is about tradition, and the recognition that those that have completed their thesis (in my case a full year) get a chance to bask in the knowledge that they are done with college. If you think that this is about alcohol, you’re completely wrong–we could easily have a gigantic, mutli-day party at the senior apartments. this is more about the opportunity to celebrate as a class, to celebrate the completion of four long years, and to enjoy the same tradition that we saw the senior class get to do when we first arrived as freshman.

        And with regards to Spellman (assuming she’s behind this, which I would assume she is), it’s not really panicking–it’s more logical reasoning, given her harsh, crackdown at Sarah Lawrence (where she worked before coming here). See page 3 of this newsletter for where this “panicking” is coming from:
        http://pages.slc.edu/~sadieloustandard/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/8-3.pdf

      • Wow. After reading that, it’s become clear to me that Dean Huang and the administration knew exactly what they were doing when they hired Dean Mary Spellman.

        I can only imagine:

        “She dealt with the alcohol problem at Sarah Lawrence College very capably,” the conversation went. “She would do well here with our TNC problem.”

        Thanks for posting that link.

  28. I think it’s impressive that Dean Huang sent that email out at 10 at night. And I think we shouldn’t demonize the new lady too soon.

    • Here here for Dean Huang. It’s not the DoS’s job to treat us like we’re at some luxury spa. Let’s lose the entitled attitude. Does this suck? Yes. Was it handled poorly and announced at a bad time? Yes. (Reminds me of some recent announcements about something in Jerusalem…)

      Still, we need to stop demonizing people and panicking. CMC’s not just about booze…or at least it shouldn’t be.

      • This is so much less about alcohol than it is about tradition, and the recognition that those that have completed their thesis (in my case a full year) get a chance to bask in the knowledge that they are done with college. If you think that this is about alcohol, you’re completely wrong–we could easily have a gigantic, mutli-day party at the senior apartments. this is more about the opportunity to celebrate as a class, to celebrate the completion of four long years, and to enjoy the same tradition that we saw the senior class get to do when we first arrived as freshman.

        And with regards to Spellman (assuming she’s behind this, which I would assume she is), it’s not really panicking–it’s more logical reasoning, given her harsh, crackdown at Sarah Lawrence (where she worked before coming here). See page 3 of this newsletter for where this “panicking” is coming from:
        http://pages.slc.edu/~sadieloustandard/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/8-3.pdf

      • Wow. After reading that, it’s become clear to me that Dean Huang and the administration knew exactly what they were doing when they hired Dean Mary Spellman.

        I can only imagine:

        “She dealt with the alcohol problem at Sarah Lawrence College very capably,” the conversation went. “She would do well here with our TNC problem.”

        Thanks for posting that link.

  29. Dear CMC,

    I am a freshman and was wait-listed at CMC last April. In order to get off of the dreaded wait-list, something that my letter of admission assured me no one had done in five years, I flew myself in to Ontario from Tampa Bay, Florida. Fortunately, it was the weekend the Senior Thesis was due.

    I had somehow managed to secure an “informal meeting” with a very stressed Dean Voss around eleven a.m. or noon. As I walked from Roberts North to the Admissions Office, I encountered the Senior Thesis party in full swing. It was pandemonium of the highest and most beautiful degree. Though I was dressed in interview attire, I chose to walk through the mass of swimsuit-clad seniors. When two senior girls ran up to me wearing bikinis and oversized sunglasses, a bottle of champagne in hand, they yelled, “Why are you wearing CLOTHES?!”

    I knew right then that this was the school for me.

    I explained that I was a high schooler, trying my damndest to get off the wait-list, and I really needed these clothes to be dry. A couple of the senior guys came up and offered to carry me to the office. I think I had some of the champagne. People cheered. Ultimately, CMC admitted me over the phone. I was driving home and I swerved the car into on-coming traffic: I was going to the place where students were as happy as those seniors.

    Anyway, whenever I think of that decisive moment that led me to choose of CMC, I think of the Senior Thesis Fountain Party. I appreciate Dean Huang’s letter, and I can only hope that we still have this fantastic tradition in 2013.

    Sincerely,
    Wade Vaughn

    • Can we make this required reading for admitted students?

      Wade, thank you for sharing this. I graduated two years ago, and it’s awesome to hear that the post-thesis celebration still does what it’s always done: appeal to the true CMCers out there.

      All others need not apply, including faculty. If you don’t understand and appreciate the post-thesis fountain, you don’t belong at CMC, PhD or not. If you don’t understand AND can’t keep your mouth shut about it, then you most certainly need to leave.

  30. Dear CMC,

    I am a freshman and was wait-listed at CMC last April. In order to get off of the dreaded wait-list, something that my letter of admission assured me no one had done in five years, I flew myself in to Ontario from Tampa Bay, Florida. Fortunately, it was the weekend the Senior Thesis was due.

    I had somehow managed to secure an “informal meeting” with a very stressed Dean Voss around eleven a.m. or noon. As I walked from Roberts North to the Admissions Office, I encountered the Senior Thesis party in full swing. It was pandemonium of the highest and most beautiful degree. Though I was dressed in interview attire, I chose to walk through the mass of swimsuit-clad seniors. When two senior girls ran up to me wearing bikinis and oversized sunglasses, a bottle of champagne in hand, they yelled, “Why are you wearing CLOTHES?!”

    I knew right then that this was the school for me.

    I explained that I was a high schooler, trying my damndest to get off the wait-list, and I really needed these clothes to be dry. A couple of the senior guys came up and offered to carry me to the office. I think I had some of the champagne. People cheered. Ultimately, CMC admitted me over the phone. I was driving home and I swerved the car into on-coming traffic: I was going to the place where students were as happy as those seniors.

    Anyway, whenever I think of that decisive moment that led me to choose of CMC, I think of the Senior Thesis Fountain Party. I appreciate Dean Huang’s letter, and I can only hope that we still have this fantastic tradition in 2013.

    Sincerely,
    Wade Vaughn

    • Can we make this required reading for admitted students?

      Wade, thank you for sharing this. I graduated two years ago, and it’s awesome to hear that the post-thesis celebration still does what it’s always done: appeal to the true CMCers out there.

      All others need not apply, including faculty. If you don’t understand and appreciate the post-thesis fountain, you don’t belong at CMC, PhD or not. If you don’t understand AND can’t keep your mouth shut about it, then you most certainly need to leave.

  31. There is only one explanation. This is PG getting back at Patrick Atwater.

  32. Cheers to Wade. you rock.

    also, if you were smart enough to a) get into this school or b) obtain a Ph.D.
    then you should be able to figure out an alternate route to class one day out of the semester

  33. Cheers to Wade. you rock.

    also, if you were smart enough to a) get into this school or b) obtain a Ph.D.
    then you should be able to figure out an alternate route to class one day out of the semester

  34. If you don’t want to get wet on the day thesis is due, all you have to do is avoid the fountain area while the party is on. It’s really not that hard. All the buildings are accessible from different directions, so people can just walk an extra thirty seconds if they really need to. That’s not asking too much from the rest of CMC, especially when this is such a big part of our tradition.

    As for the noise complaint..I doubt they ever made more noise than the construction of Kravis..which has been a constant distraction in all classes near the fountain. If you’ve been working on your thesis all this time, you really deserve the fountain party!

  35. If you don’t want to get wet on the day thesis is due, all you have to do is avoid the fountain area while the party is on. It’s really not that hard. All the buildings are accessible from different directions, so people can just walk an extra thirty seconds if they really need to. That’s not asking too much from the rest of CMC, especially when this is such a big part of our tradition.

    As for the noise complaint..I doubt they ever made more noise than the construction of Kravis..which has been a constant distraction in all classes near the fountain. If you’ve been working on your thesis all this time, you really deserve the fountain party!

  36. I’ve got some more ideas for Ms. Spellman.
    1. Monte Carlo has been getting a bit racy with its themes lately. The fact that they would promote an activity as damaging, (not to mention illegal for those under 21), as gambling is preposterous. Seeing as the event is in the bit of a slippery slope type situation it should be CANCELED.

    2. The Wedding party, at a time when women are increasingly deciding to enter the work force and the college is trying to remove itself from its ‘mens only’ image of the 1940s, I can believe they would have a party suggesting that young people such as ourselves should get married, much less poke fun at the sanctity of marriage. EVENT CANCELED.

    3. The athaneum. The ath has long been open to students who clearly do not take the speeches seriously enough. CMC has been aggressively pursuing a higher ranking in the US world News & Report. So it’s a bit hypocritical of us to be giving students an excuse not to study EACH and EVERY night. Ath CANCELED.

    Among these ideas it would also be beneficial to the school to cancel orientation, WOA, skateboarding, chicken breasts at Collins, and pick up soccer.

  37. I’ve got some more ideas for Ms. Spellman.
    1. Monte Carlo has been getting a bit racy with its themes lately. The fact that they would promote an activity as damaging, (not to mention illegal for those under 21), as gambling is preposterous. Seeing as the event is in the bit of a slippery slope type situation it should be CANCELED.

    2. The Wedding party, at a time when women are increasingly deciding to enter the work force and the college is trying to remove itself from its ‘mens only’ image of the 1940s, I can believe they would have a party suggesting that young people such as ourselves should get married, much less poke fun at the sanctity of marriage. EVENT CANCELED.

    3. The athaneum. The ath has long been open to students who clearly do not take the speeches seriously enough. CMC has been aggressively pursuing a higher ranking in the US world News & Report. So it’s a bit hypocritical of us to be giving students an excuse not to study EACH and EVERY night. Ath CANCELED.

    Among these ideas it would also be beneficial to the school to cancel orientation, WOA, skateboarding, chicken breasts at Collins, and pick up soccer.

  38. AHHHHHH! I didn’t go to the fall senior fountain party because JSD’s fall due date was 3 days later. Did they tell us a month beforehand so that we won’t have time to stage an uprising, or something? since everyone’s doing spring thesis? Cause let me tell you, I’ve got time.

    In a way, it really does feel like I am leaving a very different school than the one I entered. No TNC, no real 6:01, several party crackdowns this year, no Madrigals, and now the senior fountain festivities?

    ps. haven’t given a senior gift yet and at this rate I won’t bother.

  39. AHHHHHH! I didn’t go to the fall senior fountain party because JSD’s fall due date was 3 days later. Did they tell us a month beforehand so that we won’t have time to stage an uprising, or something? since everyone’s doing spring thesis? Cause let me tell you, I’ve got time.

    In a way, it really does feel like I am leaving a very different school than the one I entered. No TNC, no real 6:01, several party crackdowns this year, no Madrigals, and now the senior fountain festivities?

    ps. haven’t given a senior gift yet and at this rate I won’t bother.

  40. CMC. We are not Sarah Lawrence. Like them, we are a liberal arts school full of bright young minds. But unlike them, we are a school advancing leadership and assertiveness: treating each and every student as the adult they are from the day they step foot on campus. Let us quit needlessly complaining and stop focusing on what DoS has banned or will ban. Let’s focus on getting back what is ours and opening up communication so that things like these cannot occur without proper warning. Our dignity as CMC students and our long held traditions are at stake. Let’s form our own task forces, or demand to be strong and vocal leaders on the DoS task force. Let’s not allow DoS to unilaterally make these types of decisions without proper communication and warning. Let’s require an open forum for every major decision DoS wants to make before they make the decision. And if DoS refuses to play ball and open up the communication channels, I challenge you to summon that little Pitzer spirit inside and be willing to speak out and protest and take a leadership role in protecting our CMC identity.

    The revolution will not be televised.

  41. CMC. We are not Sarah Lawrence. Like them, we are a liberal arts school full of bright young minds. But unlike them, we are a school advancing leadership and assertiveness: treating each and every student as the adult they are from the day they step foot on campus. Let us quit needlessly complaining and stop focusing on what DoS has banned or will ban. Let’s focus on getting back what is ours and opening up communication so that things like these cannot occur without proper warning. Our dignity as CMC students and our long held traditions are at stake. Let’s form our own task forces, or demand to be strong and vocal leaders on the DoS task force. Let’s not allow DoS to unilaterally make these types of decisions without proper communication and warning. Let’s require an open forum for every major decision DoS wants to make before they make the decision. And if DoS refuses to play ball and open up the communication channels, I challenge you to summon that little Pitzer spirit inside and be willing to speak out and protest and take a leadership role in protecting our CMC identity.

    The revolution will not be televised.

  42. Dean Huang really likes the word “mitigate.” I wonder if he did mock trial in college?

  43. Dean Huang really likes the word “mitigate.” I wonder if he did mock trial in college?

  44. At this rate, what’s the point of coming back to CMC next fall? We need to get our school back.

  45. I suggest some of you take 2 minutes to meet Ms. Spellman. She’s absolutely great and is not trying to hurt anybody. You are so quick to cast her as a villain. She’s actually doing an amazing job and we’re lucky to have her at CMC. You are all alarmists and need to calm down. We can get the fountain tradition back with a coordinated effort. But stop taking this out on Ms. Spellman.

    • Well, given her record at Sarah Lawrence, the rather damning testimony from people who encountered her there, and the recent changes to CMC’s social events that coincided with her start at DOS, who should we be taking this out on?

    • No, but people who attended her college say that she tries to enforce her moral puritanism on others. Which will NOT work here, nice person or not. You’ve probably only seen one side of her, suck up.

  46. At this rate, what’s the point of coming back to CMC next fall? We need to get our school back.

  47. I suggest some of you take 2 minutes to meet Ms. Spellman. She’s absolutely great and is not trying to hurt anybody. You are so quick to cast her as a villain. She’s actually doing an amazing job and we’re lucky to have her at CMC. You are all alarmists and need to calm down. We can get the fountain tradition back with a coordinated effort. But stop taking this out on Ms. Spellman.

    • Well, given her record at Sarah Lawrence, the rather damning testimony from people who encountered her there, and the recent changes to CMC’s social events that coincided with her start at DOS, who should we be taking this out on?

    • No, but people who attended her college say that she tries to enforce her moral puritanism on others. Which will NOT work here, nice person or not. You’ve probably only seen one side of her, suck up.

  48. This is disheartening. I almost can’t believe it. My first fountain party ranks among the best times I had at CMC (though by the second–when I actually turned in my thesis–I felt as if I were simply going through the motions).

    I can see why the administration would cancel Madrigals, given the (complex) human and economic costs–but the Fountain Party? It seems like such–for want of a better cliche–small potatoes: for one afternoon, seniors drink champagne in a fountain, make a moderate amount of noise–the majority of which can be mitigated by shutting a door–and students foolish enough to pass by get wet.

    Knowing the Hell that canceling the party would raise, why would the administration do such a thing? I have to believe that other costs exists that we are not aware of. Perhaps the fountain party is used as anecdotal evidence to attack CMC’s academic reputation, or perhaps it’s part of the reason that we habitually rank extremely well in Princeton Review’s “Lots of Beer” category–which, as we all know, is probably suboptimal for the school’s reputation among the elites that inhabit the academy’s ivory tower. If neither of those reasons, there must be some other unspeakable reason why the party is a problem. I just can’t imagine that a party in a fountain for a few hours on a Monday afternoon is worth this much trouble for the administration unless there’s a heretofore unspoken payoff.

    Why has no one aside from Monica mentioned civil disobedience? I’m not endorsing the idea–given my knee-jerk pro-establishment tendencies–but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be effective. A template might look something like this:

    1) Senior class completing thesis (and assorted senior co-conspirators)

    2) Portable iPod dock (IMHO, the music has never served as more than background white noise)

    3) Red cups so as to “play by the rules” regarding alcohol consumption in public on campus

    4) Champagne/beer/snifters of brandy stationed in Appleby and/or Wohlford dorm rooms

    While such ostensible pro-labor rhetoric offends every bone in my body, remember the ultimate mantra used to overcome collective action problems: “Together we are strong.” Is the administration really going to punish 50-100 students drinking from red cups, listening to an iPod dock, and splashing around in a fountain? I doubt it. They might send a stern email and admonish the organizers, but it’s hard to see what could possibly happen. Once the students break the 25-person mark or so, they should be in the clear.

    Again, I’m not endorsing this. I trust Dean Huang to the end of the earth, and if he says that the administration is open to negotiation, I believe him without question, qualm, or reservation. Were I the senior class president, I would send a smart but cordial negotiator to the table to cut a deal. All that really matters is seniors + fountain + booze (+ music?). Sacrifice form (no glass champagne bottles) for the sake of substance (champagne in red cups–or perhaps plastic champagne flutes?) Or perhaps the seniors will all have to make the ultimate sacrifice and buy their own $5 bottle of Andre. The negotiator needs to find ways to keep the administration’s hands relatively clean while the administration knowing allows the party to happen with a wink and a grin.

    If Dean Huang says that the administration is willing to negotiate, I bet that this party will continue to exist in some form. Dean Huang is the greatest advocate for the student body in the administration, and I am certain that he only wants what is best for his students. As long as Robelo sends a competent negotiator (and advisors) to the administration, I’m sure a compromise can be reached.

  49. This is disheartening. I almost can’t believe it. My first fountain party ranks among the best times I had at CMC (though by the second–when I actually turned in my thesis–I felt as if I were simply going through the motions).

    I can see why the administration would cancel Madrigals, given the (complex) human and economic costs–but the Fountain Party? It seems like such–for want of a better cliche–small potatoes: for one afternoon, seniors drink champagne in a fountain, make a moderate amount of noise–the majority of which can be mitigated by shutting a door–and students foolish enough to pass by get wet.

    Knowing the Hell that canceling the party would raise, why would the administration do such a thing? I have to believe that other costs exists that we are not aware of. Perhaps the fountain party is used as anecdotal evidence to attack CMC’s academic reputation, or perhaps it’s part of the reason that we habitually rank extremely well in Princeton Review’s “Lots of Beer” category–which, as we all know, is probably suboptimal for the school’s reputation among the elites that inhabit the academy’s ivory tower. If neither of those reasons, there must be some other unspeakable reason why the party is a problem. I just can’t imagine that a party in a fountain for a few hours on a Monday afternoon is worth this much trouble for the administration unless there’s a heretofore unspoken payoff.

    Why has no one aside from Monica mentioned civil disobedience? I’m not endorsing the idea–given my knee-jerk pro-establishment tendencies–but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be effective. A template might look something like this:

    1) Senior class completing thesis (and assorted senior co-conspirators)

    2) Portable iPod dock (IMHO, the music has never served as more than background white noise)

    3) Red cups so as to “play by the rules” regarding alcohol consumption in public on campus

    4) Champagne/beer/snifters of brandy stationed in Appleby and/or Wohlford dorm rooms

    While such ostensible pro-labor rhetoric offends every bone in my body, remember the ultimate mantra used to overcome collective action problems: “Together we are strong.” Is the administration really going to punish 50-100 students drinking from red cups, listening to an iPod dock, and splashing around in a fountain? I doubt it. They might send a stern email and admonish the organizers, but it’s hard to see what could possibly happen. Once the students break the 25-person mark or so, they should be in the clear.

    Again, I’m not endorsing this. I trust Dean Huang to the end of the earth, and if he says that the administration is open to negotiation, I believe him without question, qualm, or reservation. Were I the senior class president, I would send a smart but cordial negotiator to the table to cut a deal. All that really matters is seniors + fountain + booze (+ music?). Sacrifice form (no glass champagne bottles) for the sake of substance (champagne in red cups–or perhaps plastic champagne flutes?) Or perhaps the seniors will all have to make the ultimate sacrifice and buy their own $5 bottle of Andre. The negotiator needs to find ways to keep the administration’s hands relatively clean while the administration knowing allows the party to happen with a wink and a grin.

    If Dean Huang says that the administration is willing to negotiate, I bet that this party will continue to exist in some form. Dean Huang is the greatest advocate for the student body in the administration, and I am certain that he only wants what is best for his students. As long as Robelo sends a competent negotiator (and advisors) to the administration, I’m sure a compromise can be reached.

  50. After reading Dean H’s email it looks as though William was simply wrong… they aren’t canceling the day, they are just going to moderate it.. they say this every year and it is always the great party it should be.

    William should have explained a little better and not rushed to flame a fire that wasn’t burning. I am sure we will have as much fun as we always do!

    • Or you could look at the email as last-minute damage control. They wouldn’t have given this a second thought if word hadn’t got out.

      It’s hard to see what the miscommunication was. You’re an idiot if you’re blaming William for something that was explicitly stated by email.

  51. After reading Dean H’s email it looks as though William was simply wrong… they aren’t canceling the day, they are just going to moderate it.. they say this every year and it is always the great party it should be.

    William should have explained a little better and not rushed to flame a fire that wasn’t burning. I am sure we will have as much fun as we always do!

    • Or you could look at the email as last-minute damage control. They wouldn’t have given this a second thought if word hadn’t got out.

      It’s hard to see what the miscommunication was. You’re an idiot if you’re blaming William for something that was explicitly stated by email.

  52. I graduated last year and all I can say is this is bullshit. I am definitely not giving any money back to this school for a long while.

    Last year they eliminated champagne at graduation, this year they’re eliminating the fountain party?!

    And apparently reading these posts, they’ve also gotten rid of 6:01 and TNC?!

    What are they going to do next, make it a dry campus? They are ruining my college!!

  53. I graduated last year and all I can say is this is bullshit. I am definitely not giving any money back to this school for a long while.

    Last year they eliminated champagne at graduation, this year they’re eliminating the fountain party?!

    And apparently reading these posts, they’ve also gotten rid of 6:01 and TNC?!

    What are they going to do next, make it a dry campus? They are ruining my college!!

  54. I just sent this email to Dean Spellman, and would encourage others to send her complaint emails as well:

    Hello Dean Mary Spellman,

    CMC is a crazy place at times, but it works – Princeton Review ranked us third in “Happiest Students” in 2010 and fourth in “Happiest Students” in 2009. We’ve been happy as any school even during these moments where some have pointed to specific events that have ‘gotten out of hand.’ Yet, that’s always how its been at CMC. Killing traditions in a special place with such rich ones will hurt that ranking, no doubt.

    But, what you need to understand (and don’t seem to) is that the key to student’s love of CMC is how CMC has always let us ‘cross the line’ – if only just a little bit (that’s in ridiculous/craziness/acceptability). And the students Know that, and appreciate the school for letting them do so. It’s why they so love the school, its administration, are so happy, and give back so much as alumni.

    I don’t know what your political, values, beliefs, etc are… but perhaps your working at the wrong school. Making sure students Never get out of hand and pushing that line inward is not going to go over well with students that are perhaps the most political active in the country (nor will it be good for the school, we are a special place for reasons, and again, one of them is being allowed to get a bit wild). They may push you out if you continue to discontinue events instead of finding common sense solutions – like, sending an email out about the Fountain party to students/staff, with a reminder that using this route to class will risk them getting wet from the rowdy and celebrating seniors.

    Im an alumni and just don’t want to see CMC have a crackdown. Let it continue to be a place of memories, not restrictions. Please don’t destroy what makes it so special.

    -Anonymous Alumni

    • Might want to check your grammar before sending that — it doesn’t reflect well on alumni.

  55. I just sent this email to Dean Spellman, and would encourage others to send her complaint emails as well:

    Hello Dean Mary Spellman,

    CMC is a crazy place at times, but it works – Princeton Review ranked us third in “Happiest Students” in 2010 and fourth in “Happiest Students” in 2009. We’ve been happy as any school even during these moments where some have pointed to specific events that have ‘gotten out of hand.’ Yet, that’s always how its been at CMC. Killing traditions in a special place with such rich ones will hurt that ranking, no doubt.

    But, what you need to understand (and don’t seem to) is that the key to student’s love of CMC is how CMC has always let us ‘cross the line’ – if only just a little bit (that’s in ridiculous/craziness/acceptability). And the students Know that, and appreciate the school for letting them do so. It’s why they so love the school, its administration, are so happy, and give back so much as alumni.

    I don’t know what your political, values, beliefs, etc are… but perhaps your working at the wrong school. Making sure students Never get out of hand and pushing that line inward is not going to go over well with students that are perhaps the most political active in the country (nor will it be good for the school, we are a special place for reasons, and again, one of them is being allowed to get a bit wild). They may push you out if you continue to discontinue events instead of finding common sense solutions – like, sending an email out about the Fountain party to students/staff, with a reminder that using this route to class will risk them getting wet from the rowdy and celebrating seniors.

    Im an alumni and just don’t want to see CMC have a crackdown. Let it continue to be a place of memories, not restrictions. Please don’t destroy what makes it so special.

    -Anonymous Alumni

    • Might want to check your grammar before sending that — it doesn’t reflect well on alumni.

  56. So, either Dean Huang isn’t being entirely straightforward in his email, Jim Nauls didn’t communicate effectively with William, or William jumped to conclusions…or maybe there’s another option. How much does it really matter? It seems like everyone’s primary concern is saving the thesis party, and Dean Huang left the door open. Either the elected officials need to get it done, or seniors need to organize themselves and come up with a solution. Pointing fingers is a waste of time.

    • The fact that they’re trying to get rid of our traditions, quietly and sneakily through emails, and trying to do damage control when s**t hits the fan. They shouldn’t need to have to do anything–

      The Thesis party was fine as is, except if you’re an idiot who complains because you weren’t bright enough to go around it and got books ruined or something. Seriously–it’s ONE day a semester.

  57. So, either Dean Huang isn’t being entirely straightforward in his email, Jim Nauls didn’t communicate effectively with William, or William jumped to conclusions…or maybe there’s another option. How much does it really matter? It seems like everyone’s primary concern is saving the thesis party, and Dean Huang left the door open. Either the elected officials need to get it done, or seniors need to organize themselves and come up with a solution. Pointing fingers is a waste of time.

    • The fact that they’re trying to get rid of our traditions, quietly and sneakily through emails, and trying to do damage control when s**t hits the fan. They shouldn’t need to have to do anything–

      The Thesis party was fine as is, except if you’re an idiot who complains because you weren’t bright enough to go around it and got books ruined or something. Seriously–it’s ONE day a semester.

  58. I hope The Forum posts an updated article on this. The information in this article and in the comments is just plain wrong.

    The hate which is being throw on Dean Spellman is particularly disconcerting. Just because she is new does not mean she should be blamed for everything people don’t like. If you read the emails by Dean Huang , she was not involved in this at all.

    • @Misinfo,

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Go to the ClaremontConservative and look at what she did with Sarah Lawrence College. It’s not hard to make that leap.

  59. I hope The Forum posts an updated article on this. The information in this article and in the comments is just plain wrong.

    The hate which is being throw on Dean Spellman is particularly disconcerting. Just because she is new does not mean she should be blamed for everything people don’t like. If you read the emails by Dean Huang , she was not involved in this at all.

    • @Misinfo,

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Go to the ClaremontConservative and look at what she did with Sarah Lawrence College. It’s not hard to make that leap.

  60. Most recent email by Dean Huang:

    Dear CMC Students,

    Last night, I sent an email clarifying that the Senior Thesis Fountain Party was NOT canceled, but that we were reviewing ways to make it less intrusive to the rest of the College. Later in this email, I am going to announce that the Senior Thesis Party can continue. However, here are some important points.

    First let me say that I was the one who asked Dean Nauls to speak with the Senior Class President about ways to mitigate the intrusive aspects of the party. It was not Dean Spellman, nor Dean Nauls, nor anyone else. It was me, and I take full responsibility for it. Some of the vitriol that has been aimed at others was misdirected.

    The reason I asked Dean Nauls to address this is because this event has not been without significant harm to a few individuals, and this has escalated in the last few semesters. In particular, students carrying laptops have been completely soaked, and they have lost everything on their laptop. Think about that for a moment; how would you explain to a student that the College condones this? And although it is less severe in nature, some faculty members have also said that it is difficult to continue teaching classes because of loud music. As an educational institution, we have to be concerned about this.

    So I wanted Dean Nauls to speak with William Robelo-Lara about the event. It seemed appropriate for the Assistant Dean & Director of Student Activities to discuss this with the Senior Class President. Then a lot of misinformation about what happened began circulating in social networking sites.

    This morning I met with William, Senior Class Gift Chair Kyle Block, and some members of the Dean of Students Office. We have agreed to let the Senior Thesis Fountain Party continue, in its old location, but simply want those participating to be respectful of others and noise issues. My concerns about this ought to be clear, and I am calling upon those who will be celebrating the end of Senior Thesis to be mindful of this. Have fun, celebrate, and please be respectful of others. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Now with regard to issue of student traditions, I hear you. Although the TNC’s were never “canceled”, it feels like we have tinkered with many social traditions lately. The issue of TNC’s had to do with the safety of the events, and we now have a plan for those concerns. As a show of good faith that I am not against traditions, I personally will toast the Class of 2010 outside of the Registrar’s Office at noon on April 26th. I will also invite a few surprise guests to join me in toasting you.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Huang
    VP for Student Affairs

  61. Most recent email by Dean Huang:

    Dear CMC Students,

    Last night, I sent an email clarifying that the Senior Thesis Fountain Party was NOT canceled, but that we were reviewing ways to make it less intrusive to the rest of the College. Later in this email, I am going to announce that the Senior Thesis Party can continue. However, here are some important points.

    First let me say that I was the one who asked Dean Nauls to speak with the Senior Class President about ways to mitigate the intrusive aspects of the party. It was not Dean Spellman, nor Dean Nauls, nor anyone else. It was me, and I take full responsibility for it. Some of the vitriol that has been aimed at others was misdirected.

    The reason I asked Dean Nauls to address this is because this event has not been without significant harm to a few individuals, and this has escalated in the last few semesters. In particular, students carrying laptops have been completely soaked, and they have lost everything on their laptop. Think about that for a moment; how would you explain to a student that the College condones this? And although it is less severe in nature, some faculty members have also said that it is difficult to continue teaching classes because of loud music. As an educational institution, we have to be concerned about this.

    So I wanted Dean Nauls to speak with William Robelo-Lara about the event. It seemed appropriate for the Assistant Dean & Director of Student Activities to discuss this with the Senior Class President. Then a lot of misinformation about what happened began circulating in social networking sites.

    This morning I met with William, Senior Class Gift Chair Kyle Block, and some members of the Dean of Students Office. We have agreed to let the Senior Thesis Fountain Party continue, in its old location, but simply want those participating to be respectful of others and noise issues. My concerns about this ought to be clear, and I am calling upon those who will be celebrating the end of Senior Thesis to be mindful of this. Have fun, celebrate, and please be respectful of others. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Now with regard to issue of student traditions, I hear you. Although the TNC’s were never “canceled”, it feels like we have tinkered with many social traditions lately. The issue of TNC’s had to do with the safety of the events, and we now have a plan for those concerns. As a show of good faith that I am not against traditions, I personally will toast the Class of 2010 outside of the Registrar’s Office at noon on April 26th. I will also invite a few surprise guests to join me in toasting you.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Huang
    VP for Student Affairs

  62. wow the forum is so accurate in it’s reporting, it’s amazing. I have never encountered such a credible source for information before.

  63. wow the forum is so accurate in it’s reporting, it’s amazing. I have never encountered such a credible source for information before.

  64. Either Huang is a liar or William is an idiot.

    There’s simply no other way to square Huang’s and Williams’s emails.

    I tend to think Huang & Co. are lying. I hope some drunken hero gives him his comeuppance by spraying champagne right in face as he limply lifts his hands in his halfhearted toast on Thesis Day.

    • The halo of infallibility around Dean Huang is dangerous. It gives him carte blanche to do things like this, then pretend he had nothing to do with it, never intended to cancel the tradition, etc. once shit hits the fan.

    • I don’t think Huang is a liar. I don’t think William is an idiot. This seems like poor communication and overreaction. Someone may be at fault somewhere along the line, but this just doesn’t seem like a situation where anyone had malicious intent.

      I also think that if people really want to have a thesis party in the future, it’s stupid to hope for anything resembling stupid drunken behavior this year.

      • Well, I think there might have actually been a miscommunication from Huang to Nauls, and then from Nauls to Williams. It’s not that hard to imagine.

    • If there was a “miscommunication” or any kind of defiance, I have a strong feeling it began and ended with Jim Nauls. Neither Dean Huang nor William are the stupid or lying type, but I wouldn’t put either one past Jim.

  65. Either Huang is a liar or William is an idiot.

    There’s simply no other way to square Huang’s and Williams’s emails.

    I tend to think Huang & Co. are lying. I hope some drunken hero gives him his comeuppance by spraying champagne right in face as he limply lifts his hands in his halfhearted toast on Thesis Day.

    • The halo of infallibility around Dean Huang is dangerous. It gives him carte blanche to do things like this, then pretend he had nothing to do with it, never intended to cancel the tradition, etc. once shit hits the fan.

    • I don’t think Huang is a liar. I don’t think William is an idiot. This seems like poor communication and overreaction. Someone may be at fault somewhere along the line, but this just doesn’t seem like a situation where anyone had malicious intent.

      I also think that if people really want to have a thesis party in the future, it’s stupid to hope for anything resembling stupid drunken behavior this year.

      • Well, I think there might have actually been a miscommunication from Huang to Nauls, and then from Nauls to Williams. It’s not that hard to imagine.

    • If there was a “miscommunication” or any kind of defiance, I have a strong feeling it began and ended with Jim Nauls. Neither Dean Huang nor William are the stupid or lying type, but I wouldn’t put either one past Jim.

  66. I know that the fountain party is a huge tradition here at CMC, and I would be furious if it were cancelled. But its not cancelled anymore- Dean Huang gave us what we want. The same thing happened with TNC, and after talking with the SAC and DAC, it seems like they might be better parties now (they were getting kind of hurting before). So as long as Dean Huang continues to be reasonable and let us have our fun, I think we should give him support. We need him on our side with things like these, and so far he has been, even if he gives us scares from time to time.

  67. I know that the fountain party is a huge tradition here at CMC, and I would be furious if it were cancelled. But its not cancelled anymore- Dean Huang gave us what we want. The same thing happened with TNC, and after talking with the SAC and DAC, it seems like they might be better parties now (they were getting kind of hurting before). So as long as Dean Huang continues to be reasonable and let us have our fun, I think we should give him support. We need him on our side with things like these, and so far he has been, even if he gives us scares from time to time.

  68. I agree that students should take extra care to be respectful this year and I understand why the DOS might want to rein in the drunken orgy that is TNC.

    Nevertheless I think students should keep a watchful eye on the DOS office. I doubt all these things are happening by coincidence and I would hate to see CMC go the way of the cookie cutter liberal arts college

  69. I agree that students should take extra care to be respectful this year and I understand why the DOS might want to rein in the drunken orgy that is TNC.

    Nevertheless I think students should keep a watchful eye on the DOS office. I doubt all these things are happening by coincidence and I would hate to see CMC go the way of the cookie cutter liberal arts college

  70. I would also like to add,

    Hurrah for the Forum!!

    Without it we might never have organized such a swift and powerful protest against this policy

  71. I would also like to add,

    Hurrah for the Forum!!

    Without it we might never have organized such a swift and powerful protest against this policy

  72. I’m fine with the fountain party, but please don’t drench passers by intentionally. That is just ghetto behavior.

  73. I’m fine with the fountain party, but please don’t drench passers by intentionally. That is just ghetto behavior.

  74. I think if students at this school actually tried to cooperate instead of inflaming the issues, emails like this would not have to happen.

  75. I think if students at this school actually tried to cooperate instead of inflaming the issues, emails like this would not have to happen.

Comments are closed.