The Off-White Party

By: Ben Turner | Mar 05, 2014 | 2960 Views Opinion |

This past October, ASCMC posted a statement on their website about the cancellation of White Party. In the past, White Party featured up and coming EDM or electronic dance music acts, with PeaceTreaty coming to campus last year and a prior year having Glitch Mob visit and perform at CMC. After current SAC Mark Blumenfeld officially announced to the ASCMC Executive Board that the Chainsmokers will be coming to CMC’s campus on April 5th for a concert, the cancellation of White Party seems a little less stark than it may have been made to seem.

One of the problems that I have with the cancellation of White Party is the form of its replacement. This new event on April 5th will likely take the same form as a White Party, featuring a prominent EDM artist, likely taking place in a tent and presumably involving attendees wearing some off-white color. I joke about the dress code, but when an event so clearly looks and feels to be like another, it’s hard not to call it an Off-White Party.

In its memo, ASCMC established that it was concerned with the growing culture of hard drug use at White Party. The statement alluded to the association between EDM and hard drug use, and that a culture of said drug use was not something they wanted to promote through continuing White Party. I find this entirely admirable, and it shows the board acting proactively to ensure the minimization of hard drug use, something I would agree is an unhealthy trend on campus.

Yet by replacing the event with one that has essentially the exact same features and differing in name only, ASCMC has made a poor decision concerning the safety of the students it represents. The cancellation was an attempt to reduce unhealthy behavior ‘normalized’ by an event. I cannot see how cancelling this event and then creating another nearly identical to it in its stead serve to help counteract any of this. In many ways, it serves to show that the failings of the student body in terms of being able to party and have fun responsibly can simply be hidden by a politicized reworking of a schedule, as opposed to creating real, institutional change to dissuade party goers from not using those kinds of drugs or simply being more accountable.

Part of the decision to cancel White Party also centered around a normalcy of unexpected costs incurred by ASCMC with past White Party events, and the expectation that the event would go over budget. This also seems frustrating, based on a wealth of past events and acts coming to campus to serve as case studies for planning other events. While I understand that the possibility of incurring otherwise unacceptable costs is unattractive to an organization such as ASCMC, the denial of being able to run it with proper regard to a budget seems like a poor case for their administrative and event-planning abilities.

All of this said, I continue to have great respect for the administration and its individual members. I do not want to distract from the valiant goals of Gavin, Maddie or any of the current social chairs. Furthermore, I can only offer praise to the level of dedication it takes to throw the fun and often-successful events that ASCMC puts on. The commitment of our leaders in this way is greatly underappreciated.

Nevertheless, making a decision to cancel the event the way they did disappointed me and showed a lack of foresight or vision. As an outsider, I personally would likely have cancelled White Party for all of the reasons mentioned above. Now, as a soon-to-be class president, I agree very much that White Party represents darker and less desirable elements of our campus culture. I differ from the previous administration, however, in not wanting to circumvent my own goals by simply replacing what I’m trying to get rid of with practically the same thing.

About the Author

Ben Turner is a Sophomore who comes to CMC from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Much like his homeland, he is rather large, polite et parle français. He will not hesitate to play pick-up basketball or bother friends and faculty alike with puns.

  • CMC Alum ’11

    If the Forum is going to continue to censor/mod my posts, I’ll say it again: Ben, maybe you shouldn’t have come to CMC. You seem to hate everything about this campus. Maybe you can go “bother faculty and friends with your puns” somewhere else, but this school has and should have a social scene.

    Careful, boys and girls of the Stagthena family. Next thing you know this guy will be pushing his views on everyone, much like his buddy Spellman whose hand he eats out of, and long gone will be the funded dorm parties (if they aren’t gone already) and you’ll all be playing checkers indoors on a dry campus.

    • Aseem Chipalkatti

      Ben is the prime example of a good CMC student – one who finds something wrong with a system and doesn’t just sit around waiting for it to change. That’s why he wrote this article. He found a problem, he disagreed with it, he wrote about it. That’s what CMC students do – we lead through action, and he acted by writing this article. You can disagree with his substantive comments all you want (which you really haven’t), but don’t knock someone for bringing up a very valid criticism of how our school runs.

      • JS 14

        Fine, but he got away from criticizing ASCMC and just began spouting his own personal views. Given that he is now in an elected position, it is unprofessional to pass value judgements on his students. Some might say that EDM events represent a fun alternative to a rather monotonous CMC social scene. Correlation doesn’t imply causation, and banning an event because people who attend an event happen to be the type of people who engage in a certain behavior is ignorant at best. Under Ben’s logic, we could cancel parties because people drink, and drinking is “bad.”

        Ben I think you mean well, but many of your posts just end up sounding preachy and pretentious. I think CMC might have been a lot for you to handle, but for many of us, it is by far the most tame school we could have attended. Many of us were attracted to the balance that CMC has, and your views read like a judgment of people trying to maintain that balance.

      • CMC Alum ’11

        Aseem,

        I’ve disagreed with almost all go the substance of his posts ad nauseum. Since he and Spellman almost go hand in hand, you can see my other posts re: drinking on campus, and why the social scene should be encouraged so that RA’s and campus security can have a controlled environment, and the like.

        Ben has personally advocated Spellman’s crackdown and draconian views on the CMC party scene. By his previous postings and admissions, we can easily deduce his reasoning behind his comments.

        But by all means. It’s not like Spellman and her lackey Turner have a puritanistic attitude towards the culture at CMC and rather it be an all dry campus.

  • CMC Alum ’11

    Oh, also: Get off your high horse, sophomore.

  • Bean

    There is a lot more to Electronic music than just hard drug use. Electronic music does not cause students to take drugs. Those students probably would have or already have taken those drugs and cancelling the White Party is not going to stop the drug use. Rather than trying to kill the social scene on campus you should focus on educating the student body on the effects of drug use and how to spot when something is “wrong”. CMC is a great campus where people care about eachother and hurting the social scene accomplishes nothing for our campus. Rather than judge people / look down upon those who are at the white party why don’t you focus on actually being a part of the solution.

  • #SELFIE

    Sounds to me like you just have an issue with parties that feature EDM artists and
    that in your mind you think EDM=massive hard drug use. I don’t do any hard
    drugs and many of my friends dont either but we still love a good old fashioned
    EDM ragefest and you have no right to deprive us of that. Its not fair for Student
    Government to ban EDM parties simply because they think they know what kind of parties are in the best interest of their students. These parties are really fun and
    way better than your average TNC, I look forward to them every year. Dont take
    them away.

    Deflecting responsibility for drug use towards the party itself and away from
    the students who engage in such activities makes no sense. Implying that it is
    the White Party or similarly themed EDM event that “forces” or
    encourages people to do hard drugs is completely illogical. People do drugs,
    parties dont do drugs. Thus, banning EDM themed events is a superficial
    fix and fails to address the underlying cause, student inclinations towards
    drugs. Come up with a better plan of attack that actually makes sense.

    Additionally, banning EDM events only serves to force EDM inclined drug users to engage in their habits off campus in Vegas or LA. I seem to recall CMC rhetorical dogma that states CMC should be a relatively lenient wet campus because its better for students to engage in drinking under supervision of RAs etc. Assuming student safety is the goal a similar logic should apply with EDM party drugs here.

    Lastly, though I dont engage in hard drug use myself, I don’t
    think it is right for the Student Government to pass judgment on student
    behavior that doesn’t adversely effect anyone but the student who engages in
    it. Im okay with Ben taking a personal moral stance against drug use but
    supporting a ban on EDM events that infringes on students’ (who are adults)
    rights to have fun in a manner that they see fit is not okay and it goes
    against CMC’s Libertarian spirit. That spirit is why I chose CMC and its why I
    love it so much now. CMC SG, you guys can do better than this…

    Plus Chainsmokers is dope #SELFIE

  • Like Actually

    Why does the Forum continue to allow you to write pieces? I swear to god I’ve read better writing from a middle schooler…. Instead of tooting your own horn since you’re now a class president(Congrats on being able to say Third Time’s the Charm on that one… I thought you would get the message the first two times) you could actually try and come up with a real solution rather than just saying that we should cancel all parties that involve drugs. By that logic no cmc party should ever happen. But maybe that’s what you want. Regardless, try a bit harder with making this sound as if it was written by a human being with a brain rather than a template

  • CJ ’17

    Unfortunately, the argument of “live and let live” means nothing to this article.

  • Molly

    Ben has clearly never rolled

  • Humble Admirer

    Ben, I just want to thank you for leading the effort to whitewash this wonderful campus! You offer an array of scintillating alternatives to the highly dangerous proclivities of the student body here. In a few years, with your leadership and that of Dean Spellman, this college will no doubt be happier, safer, and more diverse than it already is. Again, thank you for expertly bridging the differences between the students and administrators to all of our benefit.

  • Julian

    That ASCMC has come to believe it is in its job description to push some sort of moral, paternalistic prerogative on the students it was elected to represent is shameful. For our student government to unilaterally decide to cancel what many consider the best event of the year highlights the continued degeneration of the our social scene – though this time not the administration but in fact the students are to blame. If this doesn’t exemplify the identity crisis facing our school, I don’t know what does.