On-Campus Social Events Prompt Praise

On-Campus Social Events Prompt Praise

Halloween weekend is notable for its presence of on-campus social events. From last Friday’s Pulse show at Falstaff’s, the same night’s ABBA cover show, and Saturday’s Rocky Horror Show, these festivities were well-attended and lively. Although enjoyed by a contingent of Skidmore students, these events are unlikely to ever keep students interested in dancing and drinking on campus.

Surely aware of this, Skidmore makes far less effort to keep students on campus during the average weekend. Halloween weekend is an especially busy exception, but there are not nearly as many events at places like Falstaff’s on a monthly basis. This is a somewhat new phenomenon. Funding issues or a lack of interest from clubs and club leaders may be underlying causes of this change.

Regardless, there is an opportunity to take the attraction of downtown establishments and bring that to campus. Going downtown has become an increasingly cornerstone aspect of the Skidmore experience, but it isn’t without its downsides. When factoring in cabs, cover charges, not-so-cheap drinks, and the inevitable two slices at Pizza Seven, a night out can be costly. As the weather takes a turn for the unbearably cold, walking downtown is no longer an option, leaving scheduling at the mercy of public transit. Interactions with older residents of Saratoga Springs are another cause of frustration.

To be clear: there should not be a movement to abandon Saratoga’s spirited downtown scene. But there are certainly benefits of opening things up for exclusively Skidmore events on-campus. Take an event at Falstaff’s, for instance. It would undoubtedly be cheaper -- there is obviously no need to take a cab or potentially pay a cover charge. And it would be even more convenient, providing an easy retreat to and from every dorm and apartment on campus.

Two possible catalysts to shift some of the the social scheme back on campus exist. First, more publicity for the events that do occur would be recommended, particularly for Falstaff’s. And second, and more notably, would be to have an event-card policy similar to other Skidmore-hosted events such as Oktoberfest and Junior Ring. It is admirable that administrators do not want to affiliate themselves too deeply with drinking. However, Skidmore already carefully solicits alcohol at other events, by requiring a campus issued event card and a government identification, to buy beer at fundraising events such as this year’s Senior Haus. Perhaps a similar system could be used to distribute drinks at Falstaff’s events, and subsequently bring back some of the flavor the venue used to bring to Skidmore social life.

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