If We Love CMC, Why Hurry Home?

Along with a handful of East Coast CMCers stuck in Claremont for the past few days (see: huge storm), I had to occupy myself with whatever I could during the day and hang out with whoever I could find at night.  In a way, it was college life without the responsibilities. Some things were the same -- college! no parents! -- and some were different. Most noticeably, no one was there. As usual, campus security was riding around in golf carts, sprinklers were watering the grass and sidewalks, and sketchy black cats were scurrying through the bushes by the Athenaeum and Heggblade. The weather was 65 degrees and sunny by day and as cold as 40 degrees at night. And it was really, really quiet.

On Saturday around 5 PM, a few stranded East Coasters at the senior apartments grilled chicken and steaks, played Beirut, and blasted really loud music. Nobody complained.

As our freedoms reached the peak levels of our college years and we started making some poor choices, we thought, what if more people were here? What if instead of a couple dozen students who have no choice but to be here, 1200 CMCers stayed on campus for a day or two before going home?

Unfortunately, CMC closes all residence halls at 8 PM on the Friday at the end of finals week. My guess is it would be expensive to keep the dorms open an extra day -- energy costs, liability insurance, cleanup costs, etc. would all add up. I think it's worth it. Dorms should stay open until Sunday at 8 PM, not Friday at 8 PM.  And here's what we could do with the extra time:

An All-Campus Game of Capture the Flag

Each dorm puts their flag in their main lounge (or dunk hoops) and receives a target.  If you capture a dorm's flag, they are out of the game and your dorm gets that dorm's target.  Every student is equipped with either laser tag guns, paintball guns, nerf guns, or water guns.  Obviously, each potential weapon has its trade-offs and would need to be laboriously debated at the Athenaeum before any decision is made.  There might be problems with 1,000+ students running around campus with fake automatic weapons, but let's ignore that for now. Other possibility: North Quad vs South Quad.  Blowout After-party: Senior Apartments.

A Community Service Project/Day

I don't really know what this would entail, but I'm sure we could figure it out.  Some companies have a policy that requires employees to take a day off from work to do community service.  Some companies do it together and all on one day -- that's the idea here, but with CMCers instead of a company. Instead of the townies coming to us, we'll go to them for once. Blowout after-party: Scripps Pool.

Color Wars

If you went to camp, you know what this is. If you didn't, read here. Dean Deb Wood will not be happy about this one; I doubt she went to camp. Blowout after-party: Green Beach.

Ski Beach Day

This year, the weather was perfect on the Saturday in question. It was 80 degrees and sunny mid-day. We would take buses up to Mt. Baldy, ski, then go to the beach. We'd probably have freshmen and sophomores go to the beach, then ski, and vice versa for seniors and juniors. Maybe we'd meet in the middle and rent out some huge restaurant/hall in LA for lunch for everyone. Pomona does this to a lesser extent already, why don't we? Blowout after-party: Mt. Baldy

Camp-Out on Green Beach

We get like 500 tents and put them all over Parents Field in a circle. In the middle, we build a giant bonfire (the environment be damned). At midnight, everyone gathers around in pajamas and passes around a megaphone, giving toasts to the semester and throwing in symbolic pieces of the semester (my Business Law textbook, for example) into the flames. In between some of the tents, we'd have fires for marshmallows, etc. Blowout after-party: Parents Field

The Longest Boat Race in the History of Claremont McKenna College and the Entire World and the Galaxy and the Universe

From the Senior Apartments to President Gann's front doorstep. It's an idea that's been thrown around a lot... let's do it. Blowout after-party: Pam Gann's Backyard

Runners-up: Huge snowball fight, carnival day, Joshua Tree trip, Mock Wedding, Hula Hoop Day, Rodeo Day, Catalina wine mixer, Cross the Border Day (AKA Tijuana Day), Dig a Tunnel to Scripps Day, Hug a Townie Day

Sure, institutional changes don't happen overnight, and they don't happen easily. Usually it takes a $200 million gift or a 25 percent decline in our endowment for things to change. Regardless, I'm graduating in the spring and plan on enjoying senior week while you all take finals. But if I were a younger man, I might fight for the right to capture the flag.