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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

E-mail shocks, debauchery not so much

Published: October 29, 2010
Section: Editorials

This Monday, students received a campus-wide e-mail from university President Jehuda Reinharz scolding the student body for its “disheartening” and “unnacceptable” conduct at Pachanga, a semesterly dance held by the International Club.

Citing counterfeit wristbands, pulled fire alarms, assaults on police officers and widespread intoxication, Reinharz wrote, “we Wwill not tolerate this conduct and those who engage in it will face campus disciplinary procedures and possible criminal charges.”

We were shocked. But not by the debauchery of Saturday night, rather, we were shocked that this time, President Reinharz showed he cared.

Among students, Pachanga is infamous, and every semester, students prepare themselves for the drunken orgy that is this event. The Hoot does not, by any means, condone students’ behavior Saturday. We wish that our peers were more responsible and did not mar a night of dancing with arrests and BEMCO calls. But we do wonder why Reinharz is only speaking up now.

Reinharz called the incidents and this semester’s Pachanga “unprecedented in my 16 years as president.”

But how are they worse than when five students were arrested, one for assault and battery of a police officer, in 2008? How are these problems any worse than when a metal detector wand worth $200 was stolen from the dance’s security desk in 2006? How are they worse than when, in 2008 the dance was 250 people more than capacity?

If Reinharz were really concerned about students being irresponsible with alcohol consumption, or being disrespectful to police officers, why did he not speak up in any of the previous years?

If every single student on this campus can anticipate the disastrous chaos of Pachanga, why has there been no talk of alcohol education or any other preemptive efforts until now, Reinharz’s last semester in office?

Sending an e-mail after years of the same activity does not show interest in campus life and we find it a bit disingenuous. So while we appreciate the gesture, it’s too little too late.