By the Editorial Board Pony Club—the mysterious Facebook profile that boasts 1,725 friends—works with locations in downtown Saratoga Springs to provide Skidmore students with discounts and drink specials. Scrolling back through Pony Club’s past posts, one may notice a distinct shift in Pony Club’s attitude and language, and in its reception among students. The Editorial Board believes that recently, Pony Club has lost its relevance among the Skidmore student body and lost sight of the purpose that it once served.
Rumors aside, we don’t know who actually runs Pony Club, who is organizing their deals with bars downtown, or writing up their advertisements. This lack of transparency was not always the case. A post on their Facebook page from 2012 states: “We would like to open our Facebook page as a forum for anyone to ask questions about any aspect of Pony Club. We have nothing to hide and encourage everyone who is curious about Pony Club to ask us questions. We work hard to create fun weekend events for the school with only the best intentions.”
However, when an editor of the Skidmore News recently contacted Pony Club, inquiring as to who is in charge of Pony Club and if they have a mission statement they would like to share, the page responded with the message, “I am just a person who is helping students find drink specials downtown....No name needed and no other response.” What was once a group of students looking to create fun events for their peers has become an opaque operation, whose actions suggest its members hold ties with certain establishments downtown.
In the past, students had dialogues with Pony Club over Facebook. The Club made a post in 2012 stating: “PONY CLUB WANTS YOUR INPUT…” Pony club events were popular and well-attended, and their reception was overwhelmingly positive. Now, few people even feel comfortable with the events that Pony Club hosts, let alone attend them.
Out of the thirteen events on their page since September, eleven have been hosted at the Paddock Lounge. While past issues of underage drinking and false identification have caused bars to close their doors to Skidmore-related events, the lack of diversity of locations prompts suspicions that Pony Club is now directly tied to Paddock Lounge.
One of Pony Club’s recent event descriptions on Facebook includes the line, “All you sexy ass girls come down to the Paddock.... we will be giving out gift cards to the Brightest and the Tightest of ladies!!!” The implications of offering gift cards for free drinks to women who are wearing the tightest, most revealing clothing is offensive, misogynistic and completely contrary to the values we hold as a campus community. If it is a student running the Pony Club Facebook page, it’s unacceptable for them to address their female peers in this way.
Pony Club’s recent promotions do not seem to have the students’ interests in mind anymore. They are fostering a culture that does not align with the Skidmore values, and as students, we have the ability to support or oppose the group by choosing to attend or not attend these events. Pony Club’s unwillingness to connect with students demonstrates it has lost sight of the purpose it once served. There are better options for students downtown, and it seems inconsistent with Skidmore’s values to support a group that uses misogynistic language to promote events evidently aimed more at turning profits rather than providing fun nightlife for students.