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.
Established in the mid-90s by the senior class officers as a fund raiser for Senior Week Events, Pub Nite has evolved over the years from what Dean of Student Life Myrt Westphal describes as “an upper crust party with fine beers… you would pay to attend a beer tasting” to, well, something less than upper crust.
Over the years other groups, primarily athletic teams, realized that they could hold their own Pub Nite fund raiser in the first few weeks of classes before the senior class officers had been elected, but that will be coming to an end this year. The Student Life Team of the administration decided over the summer that Pub Nite would revert to being a senior class institution alone, something which also provides “stability and accountability” for the institution.
Westphal explained that “it felt weird to have a party focused around alcohol in the first week of classes while new students are settling in… and not just an alcohol party, but one you have to pay for. It seemed off for the culture.” She also said that “nothing triggered the decision” in particular, “but we have been thinking more about the social scene that doesn’t involve alcohol.”
As an example of the Student Life Team’s new emphasis on non-alcoholic activities, Westphal pointed to the Parlour Parties, an initiative to have fun non-alcohol-related social activities that were piloted one night a week last semester but will now be expanded to both Thursday and Saturday nights.