As a member of the senior class and senior class programming committee, I would like to embellish upon the article by Aidan Clark, titled “Free alcohol, nudity forbidden,” in the November 14th Lawrentian. As the article explains, drinking and public nudity have been curtailed for this year’s senior class dinner. What Clark neglected to illuminate is that the issue is much broader and more significant than a reprimanding from the administration.
First, this problem is not new, and thus the punishment is not solely targeted at the class of 2004. According to senior class president Steve Tie Shue, in 1991 the administration actually did away with the senior dinner altogether.
The reinstatement of the senior dinner was done with the intent of encouraging a long-term standard of behavior. Although for a while attitudes of seniors towards the dinner were respectful, upon reinstatement of privileges it only took a few years for the problem to return.
Second, the “…sexual harassment, special dieting… and excessive drinking” that has become associated with senior streak is indicative of the tradition’s hypocrisy.
The streak is regarded by many as an attempt for a last, joyful expression of togetherness, maturity, and independence before leaving Lawrence. Ironically, many do dread the occasion and feel it has become an evaluation of body-type.
Such stress indicates that our senior class is far from togetherness, maturity, and independence. Why extend the symbolic gesture of having a streak when the gesture has become devoid of content?
Clearly, no one believes that being punished by our administration is the way we want our dollars spent. Nor do we want our last days consumed with stressful, contrived traditions.
Alcohol and nudity are not the problem; it is our concept of these practices, and the executive decisions made by the administration, which ought to be questioned. Lawrentians, on their own, should be able to produce an atmosphere that contributes to the togetherness, maturity, and independence we apparently desire. No, we do not need the administration (our surrogate parents) to punish us into realizing this.