Changes to be Implemented at SPW

As the school year draws to a close, we are coming up to one of the most highly anticipated events of the semester: Spring Party Weekend. SPW, as it is known, is a Colgate tradition dating back many decades. 

There has been speculation amongst the student body about the structure of the weekend this year following two serious events from last year. The first involved a stabbing at a late night, school-sponsored event and the second was the hospitalization of a Hamilton High School student who was rushed to the hospital after collapsing from alcohol poisoning at an event open to the public. In response to those events and others like them, this year Colgate is strengthening its guest policy and increasing security. New policies allow only one guest per student and guests must be at least 18 years of age. There is also a wristband required for all events, excluding daytime sporting events. These are both changes brought about by the increase in security. Events are also being confined to the period between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning and will be closed to members of the surrounding  communities.

A planning committee comprised of students, staff and faculty plans SPW programing. This year’s committee is made up of the co-presidents of the Colgate Activities Board, seniors Zoe Blicksilver and Sarah Gilkes, two student musical executives from the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) and the staff of the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement. The committee has been meeting monthly all year with representatives from different campus organizations, the police and the community hospital. It is hoped that these measures will help reduce the stress on the community that SPW has been known to cause.

The process for choosing the headliner begins in the fall with an open forum. The committee uses names brought up at the forum and checks their availability and cost. Using this information, the committee generates a survey of 10 to 15 names, which is distributed to the student body. Unfortunately, this year the top artists from the survey were no longer available in our price range by the time the process was completed. As has happened in the past, there were timing issues because SPW often overlaps with one of the weekends of Coachella, a popular California music festival that draws many different artists. 

This year’s headliner will be Lupe Fiasco. This will be his second performance at Colgate, as he also headlined in 2009. The Planning Committee was a little apprehensive about a repeat artist, but decided upon Lupe Fiasco because of his popularity last time and the interest from the student body. He will be performing Saturday night in the Sanford Field house from 6 to 10 p.m.

“A lot of time and effort went into planning this event and we want everyone to have a good time,” Gilkes said. 

SPW will kick off on Friday, April 25 at 5 p.m. with a BBQ on Whitnall field. There will be a variety of events over the course of the weekend including a performance by Giants of Science, a silent disco at 1934 House and a Newman BBQ. A full list of events can be found at The weekend promises to be a fun way for students to unwind and enjoy themselves before the stress of finals week ensues.