2008-2009 YEAR IN REVIEW

Phi Tau’s New Animal House

Members of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity began the academic year in a newly refurbished house at 92 Broad Street. The residence, the former Alpha Tau Omega house, was sold to Colgate in the spring of 2008 with the stipulation that it be used as an active fraternity residence. The house had most recently served as temporary offices and storage space for the Library staff during the reconstruction of Case-Geyer library. The former Phi Tau house at 104 Broad Street remained unoccupied this year, as the administration pondered renovations and new occupants.

Theta Charter Revoked and House Placed on Four-Year Suspension

An alleged incident of hazing on September 16 lead to the revocation of Kappa Alpha Theta’s chapter charter. The decision was based on Colgate and Theta policy, as well as a review of New York State’s Anti-Hazing Law. After a tense interregnum between the incident and a formal Colgate review of the incident, Colgate issued Theta a four-year suspension, with all chapter activities disallowed through May 2013. Theta women living in the main house at 40 Broad were evicted in the week after the suspension decision was handed down and the house remained closed for the duration of the school year. The 40 women in the house’s annex were permitted to remain for the balance of the academic year.

Homecoming Cancelled, Students Party On — Twice

A norovirus virus outbreak that sickened at least 170 Georgetown University students lead to the cancellation of Colgate’s Homecoming 2008 football game. Georgetown officials consulted with Director of Health Services Dr. Merrill Miller and concluded that the Georgetown team could not be allowed to travel from Washington, D.C. for the game. Despite the cancellation of the main event, on Saturday, October 4, Colgate students managed to get into the spirit of Homecoming and parties were held across campus.

To rectify the loss of Homecoming, Colgate Athletics organized the University’s first Springcoming around a March 26 Men’s Lacrosse game against Ohio State University. The Tuesday night event featured a proper tailgate with complimentary barbecue, as well as half-time fireworks.

New Restaurant Options Arrive in Town

To the delight of many Colgate students, several new or remodeled off-campus restaurants opened this year in the Village of Hamilton. In September, La Iguana, a Mexican restaurant, opened on Broad Street in a formerly unoccupied storefront. The restaurant and bar quickly became a student hot-spot, thanks to its large menu and late-starting happy hour. After Winter Break, Rusch’s Sports Bar opened on Utica Street in a building formerly occupied by Numero Uno’s Restaurant. Rusch’s quickly made a name for itself with a large bar menu and various entertainment options. Finally, after Spring Break, Nichols & Beal Bar and Restaurant reopened a remodeled interior and introduced a new dining menu.

Chopp Addresses the Worsening Economy

In December, President of the University Rebecca Chopp released a statement to the Colgate community detailing the University’s response to the rapid decline of the global economy and stock market collapse that decimated University endowments across the nation. Chopp outlined a four-step plan to address the crisis, including calls for budget reductions and spending efficiency.

At the time, Chopp was unsure of the impact of the crisis on financial aid needs for the coming academic year, but noted that Colgate has a plan to increase to financial aid budgets over the next three years.

Warmed Winterfest Gets Boozey

The future of Winterfest, a traditional Colgate event celebrating the uniquely bitter winters of Upstate New York, was called into doubt after warm temperatures and overly joyous participants left a trail of mud and property damage from James C. Colgate Hall to Huntington Gymnasium. Participants were notified by event organizer Colgate Activities Board (CAB) that prize monies were to be withheld until a final damage assessment is completed. CAB cancelled the event approximately halfway through competition because of the mud issue, which resulted from 50-degree-plus weather. A decision on Winterfest 2010 is pending.

Campus Muggings Raise Alarm

In a rare incident of criminal assault on campus, two Colgate students were accosted and robbed on the evening of Monday, February 16. Both victims were female students. One was attacked on Willow Path, while the other was followed from the Townhouses to 40 Broad Street and attacked as she exited her car. According to Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, the assailant was an area resident who was soon taken into custody by local law enforcement. The decision to inform the campus of the events by e-mail and posted flyers caused some confusion on campus in the wake of last year’s push to register the student body for the e2Campus Emergency Alert System.

Racist Graffiti Incident Ignites Campus-Wide Outrage

Two days after the November 4 election of President Barack Obama, a Buildings and Grounds staff member reported to Campus Safety that two scrawled messages of racist graffiti were found in an Alumni Hall bathroom. When the campus learned of the graffiti in an e-mail from Vice President and Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, the graffiti incited a campus-wide outcry against intolerance at Colgate. The Black Student Union, the African, Latin, Asian and Native American Cultural (ALANA) Center, as well as the Student Government Association (SGA) organized solidarity events, which culminated when an overflow audience attended a powerful response meeting organized on November 12 in Memorial Chapel. The incident prompted a new diversity initiative on campus, discussions of which continued throughout the year.

Chopp to Depart for Swarthmore College

In March, President of the University Rebecca Chopp abruptly announced her decision to depart Colgate in May to take up the position of President at Swarthmore College. Chopp’s decision came as a shock to many on campus. Dean of the Faculty Lyle Roelofs was selected to serve as Interim President while a search for a permanent successor is conducted. Board of Trustees member Peg Flanagan ’80 was selected to chair the search committee, which will have representatives from the faculty, staff, Board, and student body.

Political Speakers Engage Campus, Town

Colgate hosted three political lectures of note this spring. Television pundit and Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria placed the economic crisis in a historical framework in the inaugural CEWS Lampert Lecture. Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich engaged in lively debate with the campus and town during a March lecture in Memorial Chapel. Finally, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell delivered the year’s Global Leaders Lecture Series address. The troika of events drew audiences from with a wide range of political ideologies and provided the basis for several weeks of vigorous political debate on campus.