The quads of this University, famous as a hub of intellectual rigor, are all too often about as riveting as the gray granite of their Gothic architecture. But for one spring night each year, they are transformed into a veritable carnival of flashing lights, thumping music, and carefree revelry when Scav Hunt teams come together, pitch their tents, and transform the solemn quads into the center of campus nightlife.
Usually the party is, if not dignified, relatively harmless both to those who attend and the University property on which it takes place. Mimicking its residential housing alcohol policy, the administration has in the past turned a blind eye and allowed the party—with its under-age drinking—to continue.
Last year, however, when rain threatened to dampen the celebration, University officials made the shortsighted decision to move the party inside Cobb Hall. Predictably, the bacchanalia was not suitable for an enclosed space, and things quickly went awry when students vomited and urinated inside the building.
In response, the University has replaced its previous laissez-faire approach with one of regulation. Now the Scav party will have the same policy as events such as the Council on University Programming’s Blues ’n’ Ribs: Those wishing to imbibe will have to show proper ID and then receive a wrist bracelet good for three drinks of beer or cider.
What is lost in this change is more than just a quirky, unbridled Scav tradition; it is the trust and respect of the University administrators whose job it is to ensure the safety and well-being of the students and of the campus grounds we call home. Administrators moved the party into Cobb with faith that students could enjoy themselves within the parameters of behavior that are reasonable for a mature student population inside an academic building.
While the disaster of last year’s party resulted from the poor judgment of a small number of students, the consequences extend to the student body as a whole. This is an unfortunate reminder that the actions of few do often affect many.
Yet rather than view the change in the structure of this year’s Scav party as something to be scorned, lamented, and retaliated against, students participating in this year’s party should take the event as a challenge to regain the University’s respect by reasserting their ability to behave responsibly and respectfully, all while having a rollicking good time. Make achieving this balance an item on the Scav Hunt list, and all Scav participants will be winners.