Pub Nite in flux

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.


  1. 0

    we are all trying really hard to make this happen, as for us and for many of you it seems, Pub Night is the one party we go to because it is one of the most communal events on campus. Those days are not over. The current students are fighting really hard, but we need help from as many people we can get. If you are an alum, please think about contributing, or if that is not something economically viable, please send this link along to your alumni community and help us to not lose this.

  2. 0
    2012 says:

    Pubnites were some of the best nights I had at Swarthmore. No other party or event really captured the heart of Swarthmore for me. Pubnite – where every Thursday – despite all the pressures – you will find friends with open arms and sweaty hugs, conversation, games, dance, and if you’re lucky the elusive but occasional professor.

    Taking away Pubnite will only encourage people to vent their stress in less safe ways than shaking it until the ceiling rains sweat. As someone who has seen my fair share of unsafe drinking environments, I always admired the courage it took for Swarthmore College to acknowledge that students will drink and therefore, as an administration it should help guide students through the learning process with monitored access and open lines of communication and help. Sadly, it seems that those days are over. So, 2015 – Pony up, because it’s on you to show Swat that Pubnite is more than a party – it’s the heart of the campus every Thursday – it’s about the community we can be when we look past our work and realize there are open arms waiting for us to join in.

  3. 0
    06 says:

    I more often used my Thursday nights to work out or go to Films of Fury than to go to Pub Nite, but I’m very concerned about this latest, absurd tightening of student live and deprivation of freedom and responsibility. Honestly, I may stop donating to Swat.

  4. 0
    '08: If found, please return to... says:

    Can we start a fund for Pub Nite kegs? I will divert 5% from my Alumni Fund donations, because this is bullshit. Pub Nite is a highlight in my memories of Swarthmore. Sadly, Swarthmore was always notable for not driving drinking underground and treating students like adults.

  5. 0
    2012er says:

    I don’t know about any other alums, but I would donate a couple bucks for a Pub Nite fund. Or did this admin dude already rule that one out too? Guy seems to think of everything

  6. 0
    alum says:

    Class of ’15, you are extremely smart, resourceful, and will soon face the challenges of the real world. This predicament is more important than all of those. Give it all you got. Seriously.

  7. 0
    Alum '09 says:

    I was invited by my campus hosts to attend Pub Nite during Ride the Tide, and it was only there that I realized that Swarthmore was the place where I belonged. Guess that’s just not the case anymore. I look forward to spending what would have been my annual alumni fund donation on a couple of cases of Natty Lite this year. You know, for old time’s sake. I encourage you all to do the same. I simply can’t donate to a school I don’t recognize.

    Also, my double-legacy children can now look forward to a lifetime of being subtly pressured to attend Oberlin. Lucky them!

  8. 0
    AYC '11 says:

    One of the reasons that Swarthmore does not have a high number of drinking deaths and injuries is because students were treated by the administration as adults who were smart and capable enough to deal with the pressure cooker that is Swarthmore, and could thus be trusted to drink (or not drink) during the weekends. And the relationship with the administration and Public Safety allowed this to happen without people trying to cover up the drinking, and being encouraged to immediately seek help for anyone who needed it.

    Now…what? Drinking goes underground like at every other major university, drinking deaths and injuries go up, as well as student arrests? RAs are mobilized as a de facto police force to crack down on students? I’m seriously asking – what does the administration expect to come of this and all their other “stricter” rules?

    The timing of all of these decisions makes it pretty clear that these rules serve two purposes. The first is to scapegoat drinking as the cause of sexual assault, and the administration should know better than to trot out that tired myth. The second is to serve as retribution against the entire student body in response to the students who took the administration’s gross mishandling of sexual assault public. The cause of sexual assault is not drinking in public spaces with friends – it’s sexual predators. And the issue that was brought to light was not the college’s failure to turn over underage drinkers to the authorities – it was that the college created a kangaroo court to ensure that no sexual predators were actually punished.

    I hope Dr. Chopp is proud of her legacy – that makes one of us.

  9. 0
    Alum says:

    Boo hiss, Swat administration.

    Also, at least by my recollection, Pub Nite was a pretty great way to “…(create) opportunities for seniors to connect and have fun together throughout the year…” – nice two-birds-one-stone deal.

  10. 0
    Alum says:

    I always thought “Swarthmore: where fun goes to die” was an unfair misrepresentation. Pub nite was my main counterpoint. Campus just lost a lot of joy.

  11. 0
    ?! says:

    Removing, one by one, every single fun thing to always count on outside of a damn dorm with a tiny group of people. ‘No donations?’ Seriously? The admins are legally covering their asses without regard to the fact that many of the people on a college campus are above the age of 21… and, by still allowing people under that age drink on campus, they’re just pushing things continuously further underground. In the end, you can’t have it both ways, and you folks still there are just one high-profile alcohol poisoning incident from getting alcohol banned on campus. I’m so glad I graduated when I did. Over the past few year, all of us recent alumni have noticed a shitty pattern of ignoring the credo pushed on the students from my first day by the former Dean of Students: “within the bounds of this campus, we trust you to make your own decisions, as you are now becoming adults.” Should just include, from now on, “…except when it may inconvenience us or lead to negative media attention that could put our growing ranks’ incomes in jeopardy. Then, we’d like to defer directly the law of the land. Sexual assault, though – yeah, we’d really like to continue dealing with that on an internal basis.”

    Swarthmore College ®

    Sad for all the future students of this place… at least you won’t have known the things you’ve missed.

  12. 0
    Alum says:

    First, they came for the hard drug users. And swat did nothing. (Good). Then they came for the pot smokers. And swat did nothing. Then they came for the fraternities. And swat did nothing. Then they came for the parties and dorms. And swat did nothing. Now, they’ve come for Pub Night. And swat will probably do nothing.

    -This is what happens when you let the radicals align with the administration. God help you all.

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