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Pub Nite survives for another semester

in News by

For many past and present students, Thursday nights at Swarthmore College are known for Pub Nite.

“Historically, the officers would charge $4 at the door every week, but when the alcohol policies went under change [several years ago], we weren’t able to do this anymore. Since then, it’s been a fundraising effort,” said Shivani Chinnappan ’18, an officer of Pub Nite.

Although the process is difficult, Chinnappan explained the relative success the officers have had this fall semester. For instance, Chinnappan said it takes around $3000 to host Pub Nite for an entire semester, and this semester she and the other officers were able to successfully raise $2,423.

“We held the dry pub fundraiser at the beginning of the year [which] raised $560. Most of our other money came from people buying tables at $250 each” said Chinnappan.

“The average night costs around $135 – $140 for the kegs. Right now, we have enough in the fund to last until the second to last or third to last night [of the fall semester],” said Chinnappan.

However, Pub Nite officers’ success is hard to replicate on a consistent basis. This was exemplified in the spring of 2017, when there was a lack of available funds and there was concern about being able to keep the tradition running. The Pub Nite team of the spring semester of 2017 were only able to raise $1,716 through their gofundme page. They failed to hit their target of $3,000 by $1,284. Aidan Stoddard ’20, an avid Pub Nite goer, recalled that spring semester.

“We would get many emails and Facebook notifications asking us to donate to keep Pub Nite alive,” said Stoddard.

After many notifications from the Pub Nite officers, Stoddard felt overwhelmed, but he understood the need for these constant requests.

“I do really appreciate the officers’ efforts in making sure Pub Nite is running smoothly, but I did end up getting sick of requests for donations. But most importantly, as long as the officers can do their job to make sure Pub Nite takes place, I cannot ask for more and will be very content.”

Joey Bradley ’20 also expressed his discontent toward the large number of emails, but noted a change from last semester.

“I don’t think I’ve seen any of these emails and Facebook notifications [this fall 2017 semester],” said Bradley.

“If Pub Nite can have a couple big fundraising efforts rather than sending constant reminders to donate, I think a lot of students will be willing to donate more. What the officers did this year is impressive, and I want to thank them for their hard work. Thursday nights are what keeps me going throughout the first part of the week. It’s a little taste of what Saturday will be that week,” said Bradley.

For future fundraising, Chinnappan expressed her desire to repeat the same process as this fall semester since it was so successful.

“We’re definitely going to do another fundraiser like dry pub at the beginning of next semester.  We also floated the idea of selling tshirts…. I think in order for the funds to sustain from now on it will be on the officers to organize fundraising events like that rather than just wait for people to donate to the gofundme,” said Chinnappan.

Harry Leeser ’18, one of Pub Nite’s organizers,  believes that the future of the tradition is about maintaining its presence on campus.

“There will be really great weeks, and some kinda low key, not too crazy weeks at Pub, but, assuming people at Swarthmore keep going out on Thursdays and remain willing to support the institution of Pub Nite, it should be here to stay,” Leezer said.

The officers of Pub Nite are working to raise enough money for the semester to keep Pub Nite one of Swarthmore College’s favorite traditions. However, the work to preserving Pub Nite requires effort from both officers and students.

The sounds of pub nite always lead back to semisonic

in Arts/Music in Spaces by

Pub Nite can be pretty predictable when it comes to music. In the later part of the night, after the lights are turned off, music always shifts towards hits that are more dance-worthy, and of course, the night isn’t over until “American Pie” by Don McLean is played, followed by Semisonic’s “Closing Time.” “American Pie” and “Closing Time” have been part of the Pub Nite tradition for years. Nonetheless, there still remains an observable variety in the music from night to night. This is simply because different students DJ Pub Nite each week.

“I always try to play good songs,” said Dina Ginzburg ’18, who has DJ-ed Pub Nite twice. “And usually not recently popular songs, because I feel like you hear those at every single party… Mostly just songs that you can sing along to and that people really love. I think that ‘Hey Ya’ is just a classic — like who doesn’t love that song?”

But it doesn’t always work out perfectly. Sometimes the crowd becomes visibly displeased with the DJ’s selection of music, booing the music

“When that happens, you just have to be ready to switch to a different song,” explained Ginzburg. “You always have to have a playlist that’s longer than three hours. It’s really stressful if it’s not, and you start running out of songs.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to Pub Nite, playing “good music” is not a foolproof way to ensure that everyone has fun and stays.

“Last time, I know I was playing good music, but people left because it just wasn’t their night,” recounted Ginzburg. “I guess it was in the middle of a work week, but I feel like Pub Nite is always depressing at the end, unless it’s a special night, the atmosphere is right, and people want to stay the whole time.”

Seniors, who were around to experience the “old” Pub Nite before the school’s alcohol policy changed, claim that it was not always like this. Pub Nite used to be highly attended, for one thing, and a lot of people stayed until “Closing Time” finished, even helping the senior class officers clean up afterwards.

“After Pub Nite, they would just play Killers songs,” said Doriana Thornton ’16. “There’d be like 10 people, and we would just dance around and clean.” This post-Pub Nite cleaning doesn’t seem to take place anymore, especially since many students leave before American Pie or Closing Time are over, as pointed out by Ginzburg.

“People feel less of a sense of ownership over Pub Nite [now],” explained Tiffany Kim ’17. “I don’t know why the communal cleaning up went away… I guess the lack of support for senior class officers translates into them having less energy to worry about creating things like that post-Pub Nite atmosphere. It’s really not their fault.”

“It’s becoming more of an uphill battle to do things [as students],” commented another senior, who wishes to remain anonymous. “And I think the senior class officers were just so invested in [Pub Nite] and so excited about it that you couldn’t not be excited about it.”

Subtle shifts in the way music is handled have also contributed to the change in atmosphere. While the same structure of music was used previously — with more danceable songs playing towards the end of the night — music was quieter during the first couple of hours.

“Pub Nite … used to be about being able to talk to each other for the first couple of hours, like before the music changes,” Kim recalled. “It used to be not as loud so people could talk.”

The seniors illuminate just how Pub Nite has changed over the years. This change is often attributed to the change in alcohol policy and, as described above, is reflected even in the way music is handled and received at Pub Nite.

“Donate to Pub Nite!” said Kim. “Don’t let it die.”

Students remember days of more, weirder parties

in Campus Journal by

We’ve all had our fair share of party frustration, in some form or another. Maybe you never bother to go out on the weekends because none of the parties offered are your idea of a good time; maybe you are among the throngs of people who spend the hour between 11pm and midnight rotating impatiently through Olde Club, Paces, and the frats, arriving at each place only to declare it insufficiently crowded and leave swiftly to avoid the awkwardness; maybe you’ve tried to throw your own party and experienced the myriad stresses of permits and permissions, kegs and taps, and then either empty rooms or unruly crowds.

 

There’s an unwritten rule that Swarthmore’s academic rigor entitles and drives us to a vigorous nightlife. In other words: work hard, play hard. But there are some obstacles between Swatties and their playing hard. Some of those obstacles are new, as a result of the newest party policy changes, which were put in place in the fall of 2014. The new party policy banned hard alcohol and alcohol-related “paraphernalia” at all registered parties. Perhaps the most significant change was the closing of a loophole known as the “DJ fund,” by which students could secure funding from the college, which was, on paper, designated for paying a DJ but was in reality used to buy alcohol for party attendees. A year and a half after these changes were made, how are the party kids of Swarthmore faring?

 

Doriana Thornton ’16 looks back fondly on parties during their first years at Swat, but also praised certain aspects of the school’s more recent party scene. For one thing, they noted that the queer party scene has gotten stronger, largely as a result of the increased involvement of non-Swat students. (Thanks to the hard organizing work of some SQU leaders, a mixer and party that were held in the fall brought students from across the Tri-Co and as far as Villanova and Temple to both Olde Club and Paces. Many of those students returned for the next SQU party, and the second annual “TriQueer” party is taking place next weekend at Haverford.)

 

Thornton also lauded off-campus parties such as those hosted in the Barn, where they currently live.

 

“We get to design them a little more, conceptually,” they commented. “It’s just fun to go to the Barn, the Barn’s a lot of fun.”

 

Thornton, for their part, appreciates being able to get away from campus and the restrictions of the administration and Public Safety. They noted that the school seems to be cracking down more heavily on drugs than they did in previous years. They pointed out that, in general, the increased regulation at the college is a result of the school being federally investigated (for its handling of sexual assault), and that the downsides of this regulation are not significant compared to the benefits of the college being held accountable for sexual assault.

 

Emma Kates-Shaw ’16 also commented on the changing rules as they relate to the call for the college to take sexual assault more seriously.

 

“We asked for reform and we got it, but what that reform ended up doing was pushing people towards the spaces where that problem was in the first place. And that’s something that I don’t know if the administration knows,” Kates-Shaw explained, referencing the fact that recent rule changes have largely pushed party-goers towards fraternity parties.

 

Kates-Shaw is sympathetic to the administration, despite being critical of the new policies.

 

“I don’t think we should be vilifying the administration, because it’s not the administration’s fault that they have to abide by the new rules. I just don’t think that they know what the consequences of that are. They don’t know that it’s pushing people either towards the frats or towards drinking in their room,” Kate-Shaw said.

 

Kates-Shaw said that she personally doesn’t feel comfortable in the frats, and that she thinks alternative party spaces are important to the Swat social scene.

 

Kathleen Baryenbruch, who started as part of the class of 2016 but took a year off after her sophomore year (and will now graduate in 2017), was disappointed, when she came back, to see how the party scene had changed as a result of the new party policy.

 

“There used to be more alternatives to the frats,” Baryenbruch recalled. She noted that while fraternities get a lot of criticism on campus, she thinks they serve a certain purpose. “I just think it’s a shame that there are less alternatives now,” she continued.

 

Baryenbruch herself has been in the process of planning a party that would be one of those alternatives. “It’s supposed to be a throwback, a nostalgic old-style Paces party,” she explained. For the underclassmen among us, those words don’t mean much, but many current juniors and seniors — who witnessed the days of the DJ fund — remember a time when Paces parties were frequent, well-populated, and provided a reliable venue for a certain type of partying.

 

Baryenbruch said the process of organizing a party through the OSE has been difficult. Anyone who wants to do this now has to submit both a space reservation request and a party permit request. Baryenbruch didn’t receive any confirmation on her space reservation, and a month later (after applying for a party permit) was told that the space had been reserved since before she filled out the initial form. The party has been pushed to a later weekend, but Baryenbruch is unhappy with how the OSE has handled it.

 

“It just seems like their priority is no longer helping people throw these parties that I think would help bring the campus together,” she observed. She attributed this difficulty both to the new policies, and to the way that the administration interacts with people trying to throw such parties.

 

Kates-Shaw has also spent much of her energy this semester organizing and hosting parties. She is part of this year’s “pub crew,” a group of students who have taken on the task of fundraising for, planning, setting up for, and cleaning up after Pub Nite each week. This is technically the role of senior class officers (up until last year, Pub Nite was a senior class fundraiser and students paid a few dollars at the door each night), but Kates-Shaw says the two roles are separating.

 

“I’m so intent on making Pub Nite happen because I feel like it’s sort of the last party for the people, by the people,” she explained.

 

Kates-Shaw emphasized how much logistical work goes into pulling off Pub Nite week after week, and described the job as, largely, thankless.

 

“The infrastructure isn’t there anymore, is what the bottom line is. There’s no set of rules. There’s no handbook that gets passed down.”  Currently, the “pub crew” only has enough money to hold two more Pub Nites this semester, unless they receive another influx of donations.

 

Kates-Shaw lauded Pub Nite and other non-frat parties as spaces that generate social connections among Swatties who otherwise may not meet. She said that the new policies push people to drink in their rooms with their friends, or to go to frat parties which have limited opportunities for socializing.

 

“That breaks my heart,” Kates-Shaw said.

 

She also noted that the way the Swarthmore party scene works doesn’t provide space or time for students to learn to drink responsibly, in moderation, over meals or in casual situations.

 

“That’s adult drinking, that’s a good skill to learn if you are someone who chooses to drink as an adult. It’s important to learn how not to binge drink.”

 

The lack of variety in parties and social life in general also means that for some members of the Swarthmore community, there are no parties to go to.

 

Min Cheng ’18, rarely goes out on weekend nights anymore.

 

“I don’t go to parties that often, just because people get very inconsiderate when they’re drunk. So usually it’s me — a small person — in with a bunch of sweaty tall people hitting me with their elbows.”

 

As a first year, she used to go out with a group of friends who lived on her hall, but she explained that the Swat social scene is not friendly to people who don’t have a friend group to go out with.

 

She also stopped going to the fraternities over a year ago. She explained that she used to jokingly tell people she was boycotting them, but that it has become less of a joke these days.

 

“It’s just really not for me, for the kind of person that I am, or what I like to do,” she stated.

 

When friends ask her to go to a frat party, and she says no, and they ask her for her reasoning, she is happy to explain to them.

 

“I’ll tell them that I think that fraternities that are inherently classist, racist institutions and I don’t want to support that. And usually they’ll say ‘Oh, I get that, but I’m still going to go,’” Cheng said. While her friends agree with her politically or morally, they still attend the frat parties.

 

“There’s just no choice, if you want to party you have to go to the frats.”

 

The lack of non-frat options has not entirely prevented Cheng from having fun party experiences, but she says she mostly enjoys herself at smaller parties, such as the ones held by her acapella group, Mixed Company.

 

Jinjie Dong ’18 also doesn’t frequent the Swat party scene. His main complaint is that there is only one kind of party at Swarthmore, and that it isn’t his kind of party.

 

“Here there’s a DJ and the room is super dark and there is super loud music and people are just like — ” at this point, Dong mimed the jolting and frantic dance style one might see late on a Saturday night after many drinks, “ — and it’s super crowded.”

 

Dong, who is an international student, said he was surprised by the party scene at Swarthmore, but that he may have had the wrong idea of what to expect. He is disappointed that it seems Swarthmore students have few ways of having fun besides going out to these parties. He noted two possible causes of the sparse options for fun:

 

“I think there’s a lack of space in Swat where relaxed events, and the kind of light-toned events can be held, where people can just go in and do whatever things they like,” he commented. He also emphasized that part of the problem is that people treat frat parties as the default type of party. “Since it’s an issue about how people think, I don’t really know how to kind of change,” he said.

 

It’s difficult to say definitively whether students who find the current Swarthmore party scene to be lacking would’ve been more or less satisfied if they had been at Swat a few years ago. But Thornton and Baryenbruch both reminisced about the weirder days of their early years at Swat, and lamented what they described as a decrease in lovably weird people and parties. In particular, both of the upperclassmyn sadly mentioned the end of Crunkfest, a 24-hour scavenger hunt that pitted teams against each other to see who could complete the most (often sex- and drug-related) tasks to secure their victory.

 

“It was the best party environment,” Thornton said of the event, “everyone was so consent-oriented and gentle with each other.”  Though Crunkfest tasks involved asking people to do “crazy stuff,” no one was pushed into doing something they didn’t want to do. “[It was] an environment I felt comfortable saying no in, which doesn’t happen in these loud parties we go to.”

 

Thornton said that the first time they remembered going to a party where rules about consent were explicitly stated was at the Diva party in the spring of 2013. Gabe Benjamin ’15, one of the party hosts, noted that the party, which took place during what has become known as the Spring of our Discontent, was very much informed by the student protests and other events at that time.

 

The Thursday before the party, which had been in the works for multiple weeks, the IC was peed on for the third time. Benjamin and his friends considered cancelling the party, but ultimately went forward with it.

 

“Several of my friends thought it was important to still have the party and use it as a sort of decompression space and try to make it purposefully for those who are marginalized at Swat,” Benjamin recalled.

 

To make the party what they hoped it would be, they organized a group of students to volunteer in various capacities throughout the night. Some volunteers were inside the party to serve as resources in case anything non-consensual happened. Others patrolled the outside of the IC all night, to ensure that no one vandalized or damaged the IC. They also made a sign with rules — such as “No transphobia,” “No fatphobia,” “No racism,” — and hung it by the door.

 

Some party organizers, especially for SQU parties, have carried on that trend of explicitly stating rules about consent and permissible behavior. The Facebook event description for a Barn party that Thornton hosted earlier this year included this rule: “As always clothing optional consent mandatory.”

Pub Nite in flux

in Around Campus/Breaking News/News by

Complicating tonight and future Pub Nites, administrators have told seniors that they may no longer collect money from students attending the traditional Thursday night event.

The decision to ban Pub Nite fundraising began with an announcement by Provost Tom Stephenson that the college had created a fund to pay for senior week activities. Traditionally, the senior class had raised funds for their senior week through Pub Nite.

“We have allocated college funding to cover the cost of senior week in response to student concerns about the stress of fundraising for this event,” he said in an email to the class of 2015. “We hope that this will mean that the senior class officers will be able to focus their time and energy on creating opportunities for seniors to connect and have fun together throughout the year rather then [sic] having to focus so heavily on fundraising for one week.”

Treasure Tinsley ’15, who volunteered with Tim Vaughan ’15 to host Pub Nite this week (senior officers have yet to be elected), sent an email to Michael Elias, assistant director of student activities, leadership, and greek life, asking how the two would be able to pay for Pub Nite’s kegs in accordance with the policy changes. Beer is a traditional component of Pub Nite.

Yesterday, Elias responded that the college would not help with the purchase of beer, in keeping with school policy prohibiting the college from buying alcohol for students. Elias was firm that students would have to fund the event on their own.

Tinsley asked Elias whether the senior class, moving forward, would be able to ask for voluntary donations at the door or to table at Sharples. Elias said both activities were not allowed. At most, he said, they will be able to ask for the help of their senior class friends. The 2015 listserv cannot be used to those ends either.

Senior Class events cannot be open to the entire campus population, meaning that students may not fund Pub Nite with senior funds. Administrators have not clarified how much money that fund contains.

As the event host, Tinsley expressed frustration that she was not told in advance what these responsibilities would entail. She and Vaughan, who are both running for senior class officers, have been emailing Miller and Elias about organizing senior officer elections since August. Vaughan met with Miller to begin the process in hopes of simplifying Pub Night organization.

In trial run, Pub Nite moved to Delta Upsilon for the week

in Around Campus/News by
Pub Nite in Paces
Pub Nite in Paces

This week, for the first time in the college’s history, Pub Nite will be hosted not in Paces Café but in the Delta Upsilon Fraternity House.

Brone Lobichusky ’14, one of the senior class officers, explained that they had been looking for different spaces on campus that might be a better venue for Pub Nite than Paces.

“After organizing Pub Nite every Thursday throughout the first semester, we learned more about what students prefer to do at Pub Nite,” she said. “Some [people] enjoy playing table games and would prefer to have this option available the entire night. Others prefer to dance, and, unfortunately, in Paces we must take all the tables down at a certain point to make more room for dancing. Some people would rather have the opportunity to dance all night, while other people are more comfortable sitting and talking without having to scream over the dance music. We wanted to find a venue that could better accommodate all our Pub Nite guests.”

In addition to Lobichusky, this year’s senior class officers, elected by their senior classmates, include Michele Martinez Gugerli, Vija Lietuvninkas, Justin Toran-Burrell and Nicko Burnett. All of them discussed and considered other spaces, like Olde Club, but recognized potential issues that they felt DU did not have.

“We liked the split level aspect of [Olde Club] — dancing upstairs and table games downstairs–but decided the space was too small for a typical Pub Nite crowd,” Lobichusky said.
We began searching for a split-level space that was larger than Paces. The DU house seemed ideal for our desired set up. The house has a large upstairs dance floor and an equally large downstairs area where tables can remain set up for table games and those who do not want to dance.”

Student reaction to the change is decidedly mixed. Wen Huang ’14, for example, was initially skeptical about the move, but now believes the change of space will have a positive impact on Pub Nite generally.

“I think it’s a cool idea, especially because they’re serving pancakes afterwards at Paces. Hopefully people will be open-minded enough to go and check it out this week.”

Nikkia Miller ’16 echoed Huang’s sentiments, saying that she was very excited for a new Pub Nite experience noting that, “It’s going to be great for Pub Nite to be in a bigger venue this semester.”

Additionally, Kat Rodriguez ’17, who is not a regular Pub Nite-goer, said that she finds the idea of Pub Nite at DU even more appealing than normal.

“I think the fact that [Pub Nite] will be running games and dancing simultaneously all night will definitely draw in a bigger crowd since now people have the option of doing whichever they prefer.”

The move has raised questions as to whether or not the change of scenery precipitates a permanent move for Pub Nite, but at the moment no concrete decision is in the works.

“No change can be made without a sort of ‘trial run’ being performed first,” Lobichusky said. “We hope the larger, more dynamic space will enable an increase in attendance, and we are flexible in our decision of where to host future Pub Nites.”

But other students have expressed concern about putting a non-fraternity event in a fraternity house, given its affiliation with Delta Upsilon.

Dane Fichter ’14 even suggested that “the move of Pub Nite festivities to Delta Upsilon is a direct result of the dangerous and unethical collusion between senior class officers and Delta Upsilon members.” When asked if he thought the move would change the culture of Pub Nite, he responded that “it will be frattier than usual. Because it’s in a frat.”

Lobichusky explained that the organization of Pub Nite is at the discretion of each year’s senior class officers, which means that potential policy changes made this year could change again next year and the year after that.

With controversy regarding fraternity culture (stemming from last semester’s spring) still present in the minds of many, the senior class officers knew they had to address potential discontent about moving Pub Nite to DU. In a joint response delivered by the senior class officers to the Phoenix, the seniors addressed concern regarding moving Pub Nite into a fraternity house. A section of their response stated the following:

“We took all factors into strong consideration, and came to the conclusion that sharing the space through a non-DU affiliated event would be a step towards fostering an environment in which this space could be shared and enjoyed in a distinctly non-fraternity setting.”

The senior class officers are adamant that even though the event will be held in the Delta Upsilon House, it is in no way associated with the fraternity. All proceeds will still go towards the senior class fund.

Christine Kim’17 offered a balanced opinion, noting both positives and negatives about the move.

“I personally don’t feel uncomfortable with the change,” she said. “But I would understand why people who don’t go to the frats — either on principle or just because they don’t want to — might not go to Pub Nite this week. I think a lot of it just remains to be seen, depending on who turns up and how the atmosphere of the place seems on Thursday night.”

Both Lili Rodriguez, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, and Mike Elias, coordinator of student activities, were contacted regarding this issue, but both stated that the decision to move Pub Nite to DU was an entirely student-run initiative.

From debates to drinks: a history of Pub Nite

in Around Campus/Campus Journal/Uncategorized by

We all know the drill: Thursday nights, we hastily finish (or don’t finish) our homework so that we can scrounge up four dollars, grab an empty plastic animal cracker tub to use as a pitcher, and head to Paces for Pub Nite. Pub Nite generally starts around 9 p.m., and the lucky groups of excited Swatties who get there promptly score a sticky table on which to play cards, pong, and the like. You may think that this brilliant tradition was always this way; but think again. Once upon a time, Tarble contained more than just a humid, crowded room meant for mindless fun, and the most exciting part of Pub Nite was not always swaying in a mass of sweaty people as ‘Closing Time’ informed us of the Nite’s midnight demise.

Pub Rounds, held in pre-Tarble Tarble before it burned down, became a hit in 1984. Guess what, folks — Pub means not an Olde English Bar but is short for Public, and the host of Pub Rounds was the Debate Society. Present at Pub Rounds were the Debate team, hoping to recruit new members, students there to watch, and without fail, Swarthmore faculty. That’s right — a sight that would now have us gasping in disbelief and horror, the sight of our professor wending her way between the tables in Paces, was once an integral part of a tradition that combined faculty and students in a night of carefree, but still intellectual, fun.

Reid Neureiter ’87 recollects that as a freshman, he attended his first Pub Rounds, which made “quite an impression.” He soon signed up for the Debate Society (recruiting mission accomplished). Little did he know that he would go on to become team of the year for the American Parliamentary Debate Association with his debate partner Josh Davis ’87 — and, more importantly, stabilize the tradition of Pub Rounds at Swarthmore.

The premise of Pub Rounds was simple: a senior Debate Team member stood up on the stage and debated a Swarthmore faculty member on an absurd topic that was taken absolutely seriously. It became “a sort of extended stand-up comedy routine,” according to Neureiter. Topics ranged from passionate arguments that nobody should ever have grades again to long to drawn out discussions about grizzlies at Yellowstone National Park (the relevance of the latter topic to Swarthmore is unclear). After the debate ended, anyone could take the floor and defend a side, either of which would be “equally hilarious,” according to Neureiter. Once, the president of Swarthmore himself (David W. Fraser at the time) debated at Pub Rounds.

But wait a minute: Pub Rounds had nothing to do with partying at all? It was simply a hilarious comedy session between impassioned senior debaters and the professors they had longed to tell off since day one? Not quite: clandestine kegs were not a rare occurrence, although advertising alcoholic beverages was risky. In fact, Neureiter recalls getting in trouble with the school for advertising “free beverages,” using huge lettering on the initial BE and ER, and tiny, nearly illegible lettering for the rest of the word. The advertisement was misleading, as the debate society had nothing alcoholic to serve to the audience.

Pub Nite today bears little to no resemblance to the Pub Rounds of many years past. The most heated debate at Pub Nite is probably over the spot next to the fervently opened window in the damply hot room, and the sight of Rebecca Chopp strolling into Paces to hang out would probably elicit more than a few stopped hearts. Pub Rounds was simply a different form of entertainment: as Neureiter put it, Pub Rounds “wasn’t a party or anything, but I think people looked forward to it. It always drew a big crowd.”

In 1995, Pub Nite became the party night that it is today. Intended to be an event at which people could actually socialize and talk, Paces café began to charge students money and serve beer on Thursday nights, and voilà: Pub Nite was born. This decade-later version of entertainment is closer to our Pub Nite of today: the room was smoky, and ’90s college kids were “freestyle rappin’” in the back, according to a 1996 blog entry of a Swat student at the time. We may or may not still have freestyle rappin’ going on in the back, but a smoky, four-dollar entry sure sounds familiar to me.

Maybe it warms your heart to imagine that Swarthmore social events once had substance and brain activity required of them; and maybe you want nothing better than to party with your professors. However, those of the wild Paces nights can rest assured that Pub Nite is probably never going to morph back into a debate fest. In fact, we can safely assume that Pub no longer stands for Public: what you see is what you get. Happy Pub Nite!

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