Winter Ball: the facts


Macalester was recently voted one of the top-most intellectual colleges by the Huffington Post. The writers of this article clearly did not attend Winter Ball. If they did, they would have witnessed the sheer lack of respect shown by Macalester students. If you are reading this, and had a fun time without hurting yourself and others, you represent the majority of students who enjoyed the event. The negative impact that seems to have overshadowed the success of the event overall was based on the disappointing behavior of a select number of students. This behavior has made a joke of our school’s reputation as an intellectual institution. We would like to share with you the facts to date about the damage caused at International Market Square and the amount of people who required medical assistance because the gossip spreading across campus this past week has not addressed the necessary consequences. Rumor #1: “Some idiot punched a hole in the wall.” Truth. In fact, there are two slits in the wall at International Market Square that now need to be replaced. We are still expecting to receive the costs for repairing the damage incurred. Rumor #2: “Someone peed on the floor and in the plants. Truth. The venue had to call an outside facilities crew to clean up the mess, and plants had to be replaced, restoring the venue to its original state. Replacing the plants totaled to $1,100 and the cleanup of the floors cost $350. The money will come out of Program Board, and be taken away from other events such as Springfest. Rumor #3: “A bunch of people were taken to the hospital.” Truth. Four people (one from each academic class) were transported by ambulances to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Here are some other examples of poor student behavior: decor was stolen from the centerpieces, Macalester staff members were harassed and felt unappreciated, the venue’s staff at coat check were ignored, and consequently, the fate of Winter Ball 2012 is up in the air. It’s easy to hear about these events and cast judgment on those involved, but you should also understand that it could have been you or someone close to you. Whether you were one of the students who acted out or not, the point of this is to first encourage you to think about what it means to represent the school and yourselves as individuals. Program Board had previously worked with the same company that has entitlement to the space for Winter Ball 2009 at Mill City Museum. From our exceptional behavior in 2009, they were eager to work with us again. But after this past Friday, we can’t expect to work with them or their colleagues in the immediate future. The behavior witnessed at this past Winter Ball shows us that a broader discussion needs to take place on campus. Whether you think the problem is binge drinking, lack of community respect, entitlement, or the enormity of the event, we encourage you to share your opinions and put this dialogue in motion. Talk to your friends, your classmates, RAs, RHDS, professors and Macalester staff members, tell them how hearing this made you feel, and prepare for a larger conversation to take place in the near future.