DOS Addresses CMC Party Culture, Event Policy at Senate, Sept. 18


Senate hosted representatives from the Dean of Students Office to strengthen the student-administration relationship around parties on campus at Monday's meeting. Senate Chair of Student Engagement Elliot Behling '19 began by presenting the results of a survey conducted last year gauging student opinions of campus activities. Of the 206 respondents, most indicated that Pirate Party was the most enjoyable, mainly because it was the largest 5C event. Opinions were split regarding a question about how large the party space should be. Around 60 percent of students indicated that campus security played a role in their reasons for why they chose to attend TNC. Behling concluded that in order to increase the quality of students' party experiences, increased responsibility of security and regulated movement into and out of event spaces are necessary.

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Sharon Basso introduced the revised events registration policy to Senate attendees, reminding everyone that it was not a new alcohol policy. Rather, these were a set of regulatory guidelines for small-scale individually-hosted gatherings on campus. Basso said that DOS wanted to reach an understanding with the non-ASCMC party hosts.

DOS worked with student representatives, such as ASCMC Executive Board members and Resident Assistants, for the past several months to identify the major concerns of unregulated, independently-hosted events—for example, rapid alcohol shots in a short amount of time. An outline laid out the parameters of what was considered a non-registered event, the time and venues permitted for hosting such events, and the responsibilities expected from hosts.

Some changes to the event registration policy included:

  •  Hosts must ensure that the guests fit safely in their room, half-suite, or apartment. For most spaces, this means no more than 30 people and fewer for individual rooms.
  • Activities that include the consumption of alcohol in residential common spaces are allowed only at these times:
    • Monday-Friday: 5:00 p.m. - midnight (1:00 a.m. on Friday)
    • Saturday: noon - 1:00 a.m.
    • Sunday: noon - midnight
  • Event hosts are expected to be present and sober for the duration of the event. They must ensure that food and non-alcoholic beverages including water are available throughout the event.

The detailed policy can be found here.

Basso noted the success of two parties, the Boz Frat Party hosted last April and the Green Beach party hosted a week ago, both of which were pilot parties executed under the new guidelines. 

During the Q&A session, some students concurred with DOS on concerns related to responsibility and accountability, such as pacing one’s alcohol consumption during a party, post-party cleanup, and taking care of peers. Questions were raised about the requirements expected from students if they wanted to host a non-registered event. Director of Academic Planning Diana Graves and Basso welcomed the input that completion of Teal Dot training should be added as requirements. With regard to larger parties, students are required to submit their event details on the registration link, which will be available soon, at least a week prior to the intended date.

The session ended with a strong reminder from Assistant Dean of Students for Student Activities and Orientation Devon MacIver regarding the upcoming Toga Party this Saturday. “This was the event where the Fire Department came down on CMC,” MacIver said. “Some of you will really enjoy the night, but some of you will not remember black.” He warned first-years that “wine is a completely different beast” and that they should remember to plan their night well. ASCMC President Sami Malas '19 spoke against playing “wine pong,” and to instead try “water pong with a glass of wine on the side.”

Update: In line with reminding students to prioritize safety especially during party season, the CMC Advocates presented the resources available for sexual assault survivors. The organization has a 24-hour hotline at 909-377-2400, and also has an online chat service. Monsour Counseling, the EmPOWER Center, SHS and CMC Listens also provide support for students. CMC Advocates representative Zippy Wilson ‘19  stressed the paramount importance of affirmative consent—"only yes means yes"—and reminded students about not falling into the peer pressure of the hookup culture at CMC. She explained that the first six weeks back in college is known as the “Red Zone” for incidents of sexual assault. Wilson also encouraged students to take a more active role in creating a safer party culture on campus through activities like Teal Dot training.

Senate will continue meeting on Mondays at 9 p.m. Those who miss three consecutive sessions must forfeit their status as a senator.