Developing: Dry Week May Be No More
It is no secret that administrators continually review CMC's alcohol policy, but a recent decision may surprise you. Dry Week, the first week of school marked with roving RAs writing up imbibing students, may be eliminated for 2010. In an email to the RAs, Assistant Dean of Students Fid Castro said the week was off. In prior years, the administration has imposed a "dry" campus, commencing at the beginning of freshman orientation and ending on the Friday of the first week of classes at 6:00 pm. Students have traditionally celebrated the end of the week with a countodown to 6:01 and a huge party celebrated with a keg drop, debauchery, and in one year the release of live doves.
There will, however, most likely still be a dry week for the freshman orientation period. The campus will be "wet" again when classes start, presumably at 8:10am on Tuesday, August 31st.
The administration has long sought to diminish attention to dry week and the alcohol binge celebration at the end of the week . They have experimented with policy changes over the last few years, with little success. 6:01 was officially celebrated last in 2008. In 2007, the administration tried to gradually move the party by ending dry week at 5:00 pm. The students accommodated the changes and hosted a 5:01 bash instead. In 2009, the administration moved the end of dry week to 6:00 am on Friday, leading students to encourage their friends to "wait the 12 hours" to start drinking at the symbolic 6:01 pm start time.
Castro would not comment on the email or this tentative decision, claiming that Dean of Students and RAs still had to work out the details of exactly when the week would begin and end and how the other schools would be involved. Mudd and Scripps also may tentatively change their policies to align with those of CMC, making the new beginning of the year celebrations 3C in nature. The two campuses currently have dry weeks that end Friday.
On its surface, the decision seems to satisfy all parties. The Dean of Students will no longer have to deal with J-Boarding scores of students written up for petty alcohol violations. RAs will no longer have to troll the campus, acting as police instead of peers.
Some students see this as a responsible decision on the part of DOS; others may see another tradition, 6:01, indirectly but intentionally canceled. DOS angered students last spring after threats were made to cancel the senior thesis fountain party, a longstanding tradition at the college.
Social Affairs Chair Seth Winterroth '12 told the Forum there will not be a party on that day named "6:01," but ASCMC will host a similar large-scale event on the first Saturday of the school year.
"It's great that Dean of Students realized that Dry Week often hurt CMC students more than it helped us," said Winterroth, "Freshman and returning students will have the freedom we've been asking for and it's exciting to think about all the possibilities we now have to celebrate the beginning of another year at CMC."