Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This year’s Halloween party is being held in Upper Tarble, which has been approved as a wet space for that night only. One of the reasons SAC and Student Council fought so hard to find an alternate location to Upper Tarble was that Upper Tarble is officially a dry space, where no alcohol is permitted. This Tuesday, the deans granted what Emily Nolte ’07, Co-President of SAC, described as “a special one-time-only exemption” for alcohol to be permitted in Upper Tarble.
Such exemptions have been granted for weddings and private parties before, but never for a student event. SAC and Student Council will be making a refundable five hundred dollar deposit that will be = taken only in the event that damage is done to Upper Tarble. Student Council Co-President Joella Fink ’07 described the deposit as “a gesture showing that we understand that this is a serious responsibility.”
While many people were excited about the prospects of having a party in a tent, Nolte explained that “the tent was a logistical nightmare… we were blocked from using the restrooms in the academic buildings and would have had to use Porta-Potties, and also it was a lot of money for a one time event.” Fink added that “With the amount of time we have left, everyone agreed we should concentrate on the party itself rather than the new questions that come up once you erect a huge tent.”
The administration never vetoed the tent idea, but Fink and Nolte both agreed that the tent would probably be more practical as a spring party, since renting a heated tent would double the cost. More time to plan the party would also give more time for logistical issues to be ironed out. Although Fink was primarily responsible for fighting for the tent, she wrote in an e-mail that “the idea for putting a tent in Worth, which is where the big tent idea came from, wasn’t originally my idea. It came from SAC, and specifically from Jake Zucker ’07.”
Because Upper Tarble is now a wet space, Paces will no longer be part of the Halloween party. Paces has just been released from the reservation SAC and Student Council had placed on it, and there may or may not be another party in Paces. Because the SAC-funded party will be serving alcohol, Nolte imagined that any private party held in Paces would not be very popular.
Now that party planning has started in earnest, SAC and Student Council will be tabling for alcohol funds at the front of Sharples the week after fall break. Nolte also hopes that they’ll be able to “partition [Upper Tarble] a bit so it’s not quite so big and open.”
Nolte stressed that “the deans were very, very generous for doing this. Jenny Yim is the one who really fought for us… she really wanted to make sure the students were happy. Joella also kept working on it, and we finally changed it.” Fink seconded Nolte’s sentiments, saying “we’re glad the administration has worked with us… they see that it’s really important to us and that Halloween deserves some recognition as the strangest night of the year.”