Editorial: On Cancelling Moorebid

Last year, Moorebid sold out at 800 tickets, and many ticket-less students made their way into the dance as well.  Photo by Skids Scribner By the Editorial Board

Although opinions vary across campus regarding the cancellation of the popular Halloween dance, Moorebid, the Editorial Board understands and supports the College's decision on this matter. When keeping in mind the welfare of Skidmore’s students, the cancellation seems to have been a necessary and inevitable choice. We do not believe that it is the school’s role to endorse dangerous behavior, or to provide opportunities for students to put themselves and others at risk.

As Joshua Nelson, Director of Leadership Activities, expressed in his Letter to the Editor, the school has made numerous changes to turn this event into a safer environment. However, year after year, the permeating culture of binge drinking, excessive drug use and reckless behavior surrounding Moorebid has persisted.

It is not as though there was no forewarning of this outcome. The possible threat of cancelling Moorebid has loomed over the student body for years. Each October, we have been given the opportunity to clean up our act--albeit part of the issue was a lack of adequate space. However, the College eventually recognized that their efforts to change the dance’s legacy of hospitalizations, assaults and destruction were unsuccessful. The Editorial Board therefore understands the inevitable cancellation of Moorebid.

However, we do take issue with the lack of any earlier forthright information. SGA has known about the decision to cancel Moorebid since last year. The majority of the student body was unaware of the cancellation until The Skidmore News broke the story. The administration finally acknowledged the cancellation with Nelson's letter, which was published the same week as our article.

This lack of transparency is in trend with Skidmore’s approach to unpleasant topics, excluding emergencies such as Wednesday's lockdown. Only after three full months of silence and badgering from students did the administration address this summer’s incident of a now-former Campus Safety officer’s arrest for sexually assaulting a young woman.

Important issues that are relevant to student life should be readily announced to the student body that they impact. Students should not be in the dark on the happenings of our own school, left to make sense of rumors. The recent State of the College Address would have been an ideal opportunity for the administration to announce that Moorebid was cancelled and explain their reasoning behind it. But the administration is not the only one at fault here; SGA had also known that Moorebid would be cancelled as early as last November, and it was a serious lapse of responsibility on their part to not inform the students.

The Board's final concern with the cancellation of Moorebid is that the College is tackling a symptom rather than acknowledging the main reason for a spike in hospitalizations during Moorebid. It is very possible that the hyper-abuse of drugs and alcohol during Moorebid is not due to the culture surrounding the dance but rather the culture attached to Halloween. By cancelling Moorebid, students will inevitably find alternative ways to party, at locations unstaffed by Campus Safety and the Skidmore College Emergency Medical Service. All things considered, the cancellation of Moorebid may have solved nothing and could possibly have exacerbated the issue at hand. Still, Moorebid could not have carried on as it has in past years, and with no easy fix available, the Board believes cancelling it was the best solution.

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