Remember when the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, but the Whos held hands and sang creepy songs anyway? Maybe my own heart has grown two sizes, but I’m done bitching about this year’s diminished Spring Party Weekend. I have two weeks left here, and complaining about the administration raining on Broad Street and how “lame” Colgate is nowadays won’t bring back overpriced bands on Whitnall field. SPW is as much a mindset as anything else: a time to forget about classes and finals and focus on friends, to relish being both hopelessly irresponsible and idealistic in a way that’s only possible when you’re twenty-something years old and life feels uncharted, promising, wild and wonderful.
So Colgate has changed in the past four years, but then again so have I. The people who have entered my life permanently as a result of this place will always matter more to me than its politics. For that reason I will always love the memories embedded in these limestone buildings and rolling hills, in Stillman Hall and Frank Dining Hall and in a “downtown” that really isn’t one at all. In Slices, in classes, in Case, in the Coop. Or in the quiet pause of a mid-March blizzard, when everything familiar is blanketed in white. I’ve never felt so completely connected as when I’ve stood amidst the swirling spring snow.
For the past two years I’ve ended Minus the City with a countdown of the year’s sexiest moments. Now I end it altogether reflecting on what four years of sexy moments say about Colgate.
1. The frat: Before the death of the frat there was Beta Beach 2002, the only installment of the famous sand party in recent history that actually lived up to its “glory” as a top-ten-rated Playboy bash. The weather was balmy, the women wore bikinis – Hef himself would have been proud. Since then the Beta boys have faced chilly temps and-worse-a cooled-off Greek system. The choice is for all of us: mourn the Colgate social scene, or redefine it.
2. The party: Way back in fall ’03 the sophomore class council inaugurated the Foam Party, where the Colgate community first discovered that a thick blanket of dense soap will not only excuse skimpy clothing but camouflage pseudo-exhibitionist hookups. When the only event anyone remembers from the “sophomore year experience” implied a hazy curiosity about STD spreadage through foam, the larger vision for residential education seemed similarly clouded.
3. The Andrews video: In early 2004 Colgate went wild for mild nudity, graphic sex talk, and drunk first-years candidly caught on camera. The short video was edited, set to music, and promptly leaked to the net, where downloads spread to dorm rooms like gossip. An unfortunate case study of bad decision making in a digital age, the sex tape scandal epitomizes the increasingly invasive presence of technology in our private lives.
4. The activism: Later that year the Vagina Monologues graduated from a midweek event at the Edge to a full scale performance at the Palace, drawing over 400 show-goers in its debut revival. Since then the tradition has continued and expanded, involving dozens of Colgate students in the humorous, upbeat scripts; the fishnet stockings and feather boas; and the donation of thousands to women’s charities.
5. The B-list celebrity: After Full House’s Uncle Joey aka Dave Coulier was booed off the stage in spring 2004 for his desperate, poop joke-centric standup, he allegedly hooked up with a then-senior. Both borderline-admirable and downright disgusting, this out of kilter sexcapade exemplifies an obsession with celeb culture at it’s worse-and simultaneously shows just how far some will go “for the story.” Whatever happened to predictability, man?
6. The dance: Perhaps the most culturally and ethnically integrated event on campus, Dancefest captivates audiences each semester with its nonstop soundtrack and relentless music video-esque choreography. My favorite remains spring 2004, when school girls stepped at a recess gone awry, women performed with fake five inch metallic fingernails, and Legacy’s dozens of masked dancers in full length black bodysuits emerged, previously unnoticed, from the audience to the theme of Mission Impossible. SGA just voted to secure funding for Dancefest every semester, ensuring the creativity and skill will continue to flourish.
7. The campaign: Last year SGA Pres and VP hopefuls Justin McCleod and Dave Odenath plastered campus with provocative posters that screamed BLOW JOB and HARD ON above less eye-catching messages about their plans for office, and the Colgate population split over trashing the flyers and reposting them in dorm rooms. The controversy wasn’t enough to land the ticket in office, but it opened the floodgates for questioning Student Government and making a mockery of the campaign process. Now, SGA promises to reinvent itself, calling on the students’ for interest, involvement, and passion.
8. The debate: Once a chance for women to get dirrrty without staining their popped-collar reputations, last spring the legendary Derby Days went dunzo (at least “officially”) after Sig Chi failed to clean up their act. The outpouring of support from past participants argued that women can exert their own sexuality however they choose, proving that modern day femininity continues to be contradictory and hard to define. Especially in the name of frat boys and charity.
9. The lecture: Using diagrams, break-out sessions, and a jumbo-sized Harry Potter vibrator to lecture about multiple orgasms and the mysterious g-spot, sex lecturers Dorion Solot and Marshall Miller delivered “The Female Orgasm” to a packed Love Auditorium last October. The event climaxed CAB’s 2005 Sex Week, helping to institutionalize the second annual installment of educational student programming geared toward the deed.
10. The weekend: Colgate’s first Big Gay Weekend aimed to make campus more LGBTQ-friendly-at least for a few days. The efforts were spurred on by last year’s Sexual Climate Survey, the results of which confirmed that LGBTQ students feel less comfortable on campus than their straight peers. Perhaps more surprisingly, the survey found that some seven percent of the Colgate population (or almost 200 students) identify as LGBTQ. With ‘gate gayer than it’s ever been, groups like Rainbow Alliance and Advocates have even more incentive to increase their on-campus visibility-one weekend at a time.
Here we are ten moments later. Colgate has never been more ours to shape, and seniors, we can say the same for the rest of our lives. Finally the road stretches beyond the Broad Street bubble and we’re prepared to face it: educated, curious, confident, sexy.