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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union Senators consider alternatives to Modfest

Published: February 8, 2008
Section: News

In an effort to resurrect a lost Brandeis tradition, Union Senators have begun discussing alternatives to replace the cancelled Modfest.

Modfest was last held in the Fall of 2005. The event was cancelled due to safety concerns surrounding excessive alcohol consumption.

While all planning is in its “initial stages,” Class of 2008 Senator Asher Tanenbaum explained, “we can’t have Modfest the way it was in the past…[but] we would like to create a similar atmosphere but in a safer way.”

The atmosphere of the former Modfest brought “a sense of community we don’t always have around [the Mods],” said Tanenbaum. He added, the cancellation of Modfest “takes away something a lot of students liked.”

In order to achieve that end, Mods Senator Tania Kupferman ’08 explained the possibility of creating “a party for seniors” by “register[ing] a bunch of parties in the upper mods at the same time so people can move around.”

Though an alternative Modfest would not necessarily be limited to members of the senior class, “we need a way of controlling who drinks,” Kupferman said. Tanenbaum agreed, suggesting marking hands or giving out bracelets to those over 21.

The target attendance group also depends on funding Kupferman and Tanenbaum said. “If it’s funding from Res Life, then we try to concentrate it more specifically for seniors,” said Tanenbaum, “if it’s a bunch of people having parties around the same time, you can’t really enforce that obviously.”

He added, “if it’s not specifically funded by [the university], it makes it more difficult to make sure there isn’t underage drinking.”

Even so, Tanenbaum is unsure the degree to which strict alcohol policies at an alternative Modfest would curb underage alcohol consumption.

“Most of the underage drinking goes on…when people pre-game,” he commented, “[underage students] are going to drink before they come when they know they’re not going to get [any alcohol].”

While neither Tanenbaum nor Kupferman have a solution to the potential problem of pre-gaming, Kupferman remarked, “it’s very important to show we can have a party and be responsible about it.”

“It’d be totally awesome” if Modfest were revitalized, said Michael Warner ’08. “I feel like the senior class has very little partying options. Someone needs to get working on that,” he said.

“If planned well I think a Modfest could be a lot of fun,” Jonathan Lehrfeld ’08 commented, “I remember hearing people talk about it as a freshman and sophomore and it always sounded like one of the more successful social events.”

He added, “I’m sure the administration could come up with a fair compromise so that Modfest could still happen but underclassmen wouldn’t have access to alcohol.”

Eileen Ani ’08 said, “Modfest’s a fighter. It will never give up trying to come back and improve the social life at Brandeis for at least one night even if it has to drunkify some freshmen along the way.”

“People drink too much every weekend,” she continued, “it just happens all at once at Modfest. So why not condense?”

Clarissa Stark and David Pepose contributed to this report.