The Evolution of Skidmore Party Culture, What We Should Do About It


A lot has changed for Skidmore seniors since they became students in 2012, including the landscape of party culture. For a number of reasons, students are choosing to stay on campus to party, and are not entirely satisfied with the options available, creating a heightened demand for on campus events.

Off campus houses that have traditionally thrown frequent parties, such as Alpine, Arabella and Bloomfield, are no longer organizing as many parties. This trend will likely continue next year, as the Banders house is changing hands. Additionally, the tragic accident in October that occurred on Clinton Road has made students less willing to travel to off campus parties.

The lack of off campus parities, let alone attractive ones, has homogenized the on campus party experience. The regression of students turning to on campus events has manifested itself in underclassmen attending Northwoods parties, a phenomena that was previously rare. This change is amplified by the decline in Falstaff’s popularity as a party and event location.

Falstaff’s, which was previously a campus bar, has lost its presence in Skidmore nightlife. Although the club previously hosted well-attended events most weekends, nowadays students rarely go. This is due in part to the lack of events being held at Falstaff’s, and the often-poor advertisement of events that will take place there. Another important concern regarding Falstaff’s is the student perception that the dimly lit location presents a higher risk of sexual harassment.

Skidmore’s inability to throw a great all-inclusive event, however, is definitely seasonal. As the weather takes a turn for the sunny, celebrations like Earth Day and Fun Day never disappoint. It is the cold months, when students scuttle from building to building to avoid the biting wind that proves to be challenging for large events. This is mostly a logistical problem, as there are no spaces on campus that can accommodate the crowds that would appear on a 70 degree Fun Day. Creating new indoor events would require more creativity and advertising, but these are not insurmountable challenges.

Honestly, the greatest obstacle to better indoor events is our own behavior.  Events like The Moorbid Ball were able to attract and entertain crowds, but the number of student hospitalizations due to alcohol and drug related incidents ultimately led to the cancellation of the annual event. Although a risky argument, some believe that having more events could even decrease the number of medical emergencies, as students would feel less pressure to squeeze the most adventure out of a few events—crossing their limits in the process.

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