Junior Ring Rolls Around Again, Binge Drinking Still a Problem
Last weekend, students flocked to Junior Ring, the only major formal dance of the year. The dance was held in the gym with a professional DJ, beer garden for students over 21, and a chocolate fountain snack area. In typical Skidmore fashion, students began arriving at the event at about 11p.m. and stayed until the event ended at 2a.m. “We have been planning [Junior Ring] since August and we did our best to make sure that the dance would be fun and safe for everyone and I think we achieved those goals,” Junior Class President Rachael Thomeer reflected on the event.
The event was sold out with 1,200 tickets purchased. Between 1,125 and 1,200 students turned out the event on Saturday night. The costs have not yet been finalized but have been confirmed to total at least $11,250 dollars, approximately $1,000 more than the 2015 event. The last few years, SGA has seen a consistent rise in the cost of putting on this event, due to rising individual vendor costs. “We were constantly cognizant of our budget throughout the planning process and made cuts in some areas to be fiscally responsible and keep the inevitable increase as reasonable as possible while still putting on a fun and safe event,” Thomeer added.
The Junior Class Council and the Inter-Class Council, which were responsible for organizing the weekend’s events, considered hosting the dance at an off campus venue to accommodate more students. Doing so would have increased costs substantially, and presented safety challenges such as transporting students to and from the event, and being unable to rely on campus safety officers.
Hosting the event on campus did not eliminate risk, however. Campus Safety informed The Skidmore News that this year’s junior ring resulted in three students being transported to the hospital. Two students refused medical attention after being checked-out by SCEMS, and one student refused medical attention after the arrival of an ambulance. These numbers are a slight improvement over the 2015 event, where five students were transported to the hospital, and three refused medical attention. Skidmore is not immune to the struggles colleges face in controlling drinking behavior at campus events. Director of Leadership Activities Robin Adams declined to comment on this year’s event. Last year, he said that “at the end of the day, there is only so much that the institution or the administration can do. We can staff up and have often collaborated on advance programs about making responsible decisions but a lot of this comes down to the fact that individuals make these choices and many choose to not drink responsibly — and in fact, quite dangerously.”