Pub Nite Fights On, Despite Funding Struggles

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.


It’s Thursday at Swarthmore and to many students that can only mean one thing: Pub Nite. However, recent changes on campus have created obstacles for the funding and continuation of Pub Nite.

The original premise of Pub Nite was a​ relaxed communal space, in addition to fundraise for Senior Week — a week of events between finals and graduation for seniors to enjoy and celebrate their last days at Swarthmore. Underclassmen and juniors paid $4 while seniors paid $3 to enter Pub Nite. This money was used to not only fund Pub Nite, but also went to pay for Senior Week after the spring semester.

This year’s changes to Swarthmore’s alcohol policy made Pub Nite an unfit source of funding because using Pub Nite as funding could make the College liable for any potential legal action. To address this gap in funding for Senior Week, the Dean’s Office gave the senior class officers a fund for Senior Week. While this allows for more consistency in the funding for Senior Week, as each class’ fund for Senior Week varied based on the success of their Pub Nites — it renders Pub Nite null.

“It [is] important to me and the other class officers as well as other members of the senior class that Pub Nite still [functions],” says Tim Vaughan ‘15, senior class officer. So, starting in Fall 2014, the senior class officers created a goal of $4500 dollars to be crowdfunded through an online f​undraiser. ​The approximate cost of each Pub Nite ranges from $250 to $420, depending on quantity and quality of the alcohol, in addition to what kind of snacks are provided. Vaughan describes the fall semester fundraiser as “unbelievably successful”, with a total of $4,650 raised through donations from anonymous members of the community, alums, and current students. Packages were also available for purchase for groups interested in reserving tables. These packages come with amenities such as pitchers, ping pong balls and cards.

The senior class officers made another online f​undraiser​ for this semester, setting the goal at $5,000, taking into account the additional week in the spring semester. However, the funding is going at a slower pace compared to the previous semester, with only $3,020 of the $5,000 goal being met as of February 6.

“We expected challenges this semester in getting donations”, says Vaughan. He attributes this to the inability to contact the anonymous donors and alumni and general lack of awareness on campus about the new fundraiser for this semester. While the funds are coming in, albeit on a “more gradual basis,” says Vaughan, “it’s no where as close [to what] we had last semester.”

To deal with the lack of funds, the costs of packages increased to compensate for the decrease in donations. The only package currently available is the “The Busy Lizzy”: $350 to reserve a table for six at Pub Nite for the whole semester. The smaller and short­-term packages were removed to make organization and management of Pub Nite easier. Additionally, there is a bigger push for cash donations. “We’ve gotten a good number of donations from people just walking through the door,” says Vaughan. Pub Nite continues to bring students together despite challenges in funding. “It’s fun being around the team,” says Evan Rosenberg ‘15, Captain of the Men’s Frisbee team. Vaughan says “it’s a time for [him] to connect back to [his] class and really meet people.” There’s a “tradition that’s rooted in Pub Nite”, Vaughan continued, and “every dollar counts.”

To donate to the Pub Nite GoFundMe, click this link. [Updated 2/6/2015 at 10:18 A.M.]

Photo courtesy of Kyungchan Min ’18.page1image25168 page1image25328


  1. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING? There’s no way it costs $5000 for a semester’s worth of shitty beer. I’d like to see some accountability on the part of the fundraiser organizers so I know they’re not just siphoning the money off

    • They should change the concept of pub nite–how about beer and wine tastings? make it a more luxurious experience? =)

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