The positivity and ingenuity of our CMC community never cease to amaze me. We are smart, talented and dedicated individuals who have come together for four years to develop both our intellectual pursuits and the life skills that are so important for our future careers and family. For the most part, we value our campus and our community because we are given much more responsibility than the students at almost any other school in the nation. That is, until we forget to be responsible. Waking up to red cups littered across our campus, beer cans strewn across the lawn, and bathrooms that have been thoroughly destroyed is not our culture. This is not what responsibility looks like.
In my two years at the happiest college in the country, the social scene has supposedly deteriorated. I respectfully disagree. With opportunities ranging from Chess Club to Brew Club, our student government has done a remarkable job working inside the bounds of administration policy to provide a welcome and open campus. If anything, we’ve gotten more social. With increasingly mixed dorms, interaction between classes has flourished, and the amount of clubs on campus has grown since I’ve arrived. I came to this school because the opportunities and social setting of a small, open liberal arts college and that’s what I have had so far.
While our Thursday night parties may now include fences, campus security, and a limit on the number of kegs that can be brought in, has this really altered our campus culture to the extent that we’re no longer social? No. Has it become a hassle? Yes. Unfortunately, there are limits to what we can legally do as young adults under the age of 21 and as a school in a state that openly disregards federal law. The administration has done what it can to protect the students they have been tasked in overseeing. While many of these have changed the dynamic of Thursday night parties, TNR is still alive and kicking, impromptu North Quad parties still exist, and we continue to climb up college rankings (not that they really matter, but it still is nice).
If we want to truly control what happens on our campus, we need to show that we are responsible enough to handle all facets of college life. Last weekend was a perfect example. Club Claremont, now in its second year, was once again a “dry event.” Still, the party was fun and there were no issues. Alcohol flowed at pre-games and post-games, and much of it was done responsibly. Let’s keep this up. Let’s care about our campus. There is no reason why we can’t throw away the red cups, avoid breaking the handles, and care about our common areas. Some of the changes to parties won’t ever disappear. We do deserve more freedom. But even if we get that freedom, we need to be responsible with what we are given. We need to be smart. We need to become the leaders that CMC brought us here to be.