Editorial: Black lights not blackouts at GLOW Dance

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Author: Emily Shugerman

Following the well-publicized debacle that was last year’s Splatter, many of us were of the opinion that the behavior at the first dance this semester would be equally atrocious. On-campus dances at Occidental are too often seen as an excuse for students to lose their conscientious style and engage in irresponsible, uncontrolled and generally obnoxious behavior. It was high time for the students of Occidental to step up their behavior at these events, and at the GLOW dance last Friday, they did. There were no hospitalizations from alcohol poisonings, and more importantly, the behavior of the student population was on the whole more contained and actually enjoyable.
There are many people and institutions to thank for the success of GLOW, first of which is the Programming Board. After the cancellation of Splatter, which sent much of the student body into an incredulous tizzy, the Programing Board stepped in to fill the void of dances with novel themes by creating GLOW, Occidental’s first black-light dance. GLOW provided an opportunity for students to enjoy bright colors, electro music and grinding with their lab partners, all without getting their clothes covered in paint. But with the creation of a new event there was the potential for old behaviors to transfer over and result in a disaster much like Splatter. However, the tone taken by the Programming Board regarding this dance helped nip any of those sentiments in the bud. Their frank discussion of alcohol usage at the dance, including some appropriately snarky comments on the event page on Facebook, (“I promise we won’t invite the media! Try to be responsible this time k?”) let students know that irresponsible alcohol usage would not be tolerated. Instead of choosing to ignore the issues surrounding student drinking, the college should remember the success of this frank and sensible outlook.
Director of Student Life Tamara Rice and the Office of Student Life should also be commended for the work they put into making this dance a success. Having an EMT present was a crucial safety change from previous dances, as was allowing for re-entry to the dance. Many students called for the addition of a re-entry policy following Splatter, and the responsiveness of the administration to these requests is much appreciated. Hopefully the administration will see the success of GLOW as evidence of the necessity of a re-entry policy.
Most importantly however, the Occidental student body should be commended for their improved behavior at this event. Yes, there was drinking. Yes, there was some unseemly behavior. But on the whole, the students of Occidental acted as the intelligent and mature students they are. Congratulations Occidental, you learned how to hold your alcohol.

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