The inherent dysfunctionality of Moorebid Ball

Posted by The Editorial Board

The infamous Moorebid Ball is quickly approaching. Even though Moorebid is the College's largest drinking event and last year, according to Campus Safety Reports, resulted in six hospital transports, the Student Government Association is still attempting to figure out how the event can run smoothly and be a success among students.
According to a statement made by Hannah Degraaf '15, the current Vice President for Student Life, the Committee on Student Life has chosen to hold this year's event in the Spa, after the past two Moorebid Balls were thrown in first the two small gyms and then exclusively the large gym. Degraaf conceded that hosting the event in the large gym last year didn't spark great feedback from students, not to mention was host to the trampling of students in attendance. According to Degraaf the Spa has been chosen in hopes that it will give the ball the feel it once had when the event was hosted in Case Center, but necessitates a 500-ticket ceiling. A three dollar wristband will grant a student entry and re-entry until midnight, and if the space is not at fire capacity by midnight, the event will open up to non-ticket holding students at a cost of five dollars.
Because there are a limited number of tickets, the SGA has also planned to co-host an alcohol-free event in Falstaffs on the same night.
The never-ending necessity to revise Moorebid Ball Suggests that there is something inherently and unavoidably dysfunctional about the school-sanctioned, school-wide event hosted on a holiday. At last year's Fall Fun Day, Campus Safety reported one intoxicated student and zero hospital transports. During Spring Fun Day, an event open to the entire school at no cost, and often drawing students from surrounding colleges, seven intoxicated students were reported by Campus Safety with six total hospital transports. At the Moorebid Ball, an event that capped the ticket sales in 2012 at 800 students-roughly 30% of the student population-approximately eight intoxicated students and six hospital transports were reported by campus safety.
There is clearly something wrong with an event that hosts one-tenth of the student population, yet yields the same number of hospitalizations and intoxicated students as an event open to the entire student body. And despite yearly re-workings of Moorebid, there doesn't seem to be a safe but enjoyable solution for the event.
It's logical that the Moorebid Ball yields the most hospital transports in proportion to the number of students attending the event. Moorebid is well known among students and alumni to be the night when everyone drinks in excess, while Fun Day has traditionally been known as an event when more students use marijuana rather than consume alcohol. Moorebid both comes with the hype of being an enormous, chaotic drinking event and the excitement falling around Halloween time. To state the unfortunately obvious, Moorebid's reputation and timing make it a recipe for campus disaster.

The question is then: why does the administration and the SGA continue to host this event? While it is absolutely a student's personal responsibility to keep themselves safe, the College seems to set up year after year the 'perfect storm' of circumstances for poor decision-making. The Skidmore News does not wish to blame the SGA or the administration for students being unable to responsibly comport themselves at Moorebid, but it is undeniable that they are enabling these students to do just that.

One of the purposes of Fall Fun Day was to reduce the hype and binge-drinking of Moorebid, supposedly by spreading the excitement out. This did not work and Fall Fun Day is no more --although not necessarily for that reason alone. The Big Show is another event that may have been scheduled to mitigate the effects of Moorebid, but like Fun Day, the Big Show has never done the trick. It may just be that Moorebid is too heavily engrained in the minds of students as an event that necessitates craze and the release of all inhibitions that it can never be made safe.

Unfortunately, it is this paper's (most likely unpopular) opinion that Moorebid Ball does not need re-working, but may need to be subjected to the recommendation aired every year after the tumult of Moorebid, and be cancelled entirely. Moorebid is one of the few traditions of Skidmore and a popular event among students, and this newspaper would certainly rather have it succeed than be gone altogether. But it is not in the College's best interest to host an event where a large quantity of students will knowingly be dangerously intoxicated in preparation for the dance, nor is it in the best interest of its students. It is too late to cancel this year's event, but if things do not change then it may be time to reconsider more than where to host Moorebid next year.

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