100 Days is a long-running tradition here at Grinnell; getting super drunk and making out with that crush from tutorial is not. Although many students might think 100 Days has been around forever, the party in its present incarnation has only existed for the past eleven saliva-filled years.
Originally intended to promote class bonding and spur alumni support among soon-to-be graduated seniors, 100 Days took a turn in the early 2000s toward a more physical form of class bonding: kissing. Although the College has historically organized the seniors-only party, Conference Operations has chosen to take a step back this year, as reported in last week’s issue of the S&B, available online at http://www.thesandb.com/news/after-alcohol-health-concerns-college-steps-back-from-planning-100-days.html.
The admittedly short-lived nature of 100 Days in its current form may lead administrators to believe that it will be easy to return to the “old” way. However, the S&B would like to point out that once you hand the older child a lollipop, you can’t very well ask the younger sibling to accept a piece of kale.
On that food-related note, we question how a nice dinner for 300+ students, as proposed by some administrators, could ever achieve the intimacy of 100 Days? Students will come with their friends, sit with their friends and barely glance at old tutorial-mates. Unlike 100 Days—where students mingle broadly and beyond their friends—a dinner will maintain friend group boundaries.
Of course, we recognize that 100 Days, like many student traditions, has its faults. No student should be excluded from the festivities because he, she, or ze does not want to exchange spit with 50 of his, her, or zir’s closest friends. Nor should College staff be required to plan a party that includes the particular activities of 100 Days.
But seniors should get one last hurrah in the Grinnell Bubble. And so we politely request that the College take into account both student preferences and student safety when it considers 100 Days. We think that a reasonable compromise might be that Conference Operations continues to financially support the party insofar as renting the venue and paying for shuttles, but no longer offers administrative or planning support.
We would like to specifically emphasize the venue and shuttles because we believe they are key to ensuring student safety for a party that will most likely happen regardless of College input. By allowing the party to occur in a controlled environment and providing for students to arrive and depart safely and with support, the College can adhere to its harm-reduction ethos.
In this way, the College will ensure that 100 Days occurs in a safe and responsible manner without necessarily feeling responsible for the number and quality of germs spreading amongst the senior population. With many graduating seniors on staff, the S&B hopes that the College and the student planners of 100 Days can reach an agreement that will allow seniors an enjoyable and safe class bonding experience.