Office of Student Affairs allocates $15,000 for class events
By Helena Payne
The senior class is using part of a $5,000 allocation from the Office of Student Affairs to plan a class-sponsored event unlike any other.
Thursday's Margaritaville, the beach-themed event for seniors 21 and older at St. Joseph's Lake beach from 5 to 7 p.m., will include free food, entertainment and a cash bar.
As students listen to the beach tunes provided by the DJ, they can also enjoy the pig roast, kabobs and other foods and beverages, but students will have to pay for margaritas and beer.
"It may not be the Atlantic Ocean out there, but it's a unique venue as opposed to a LaFortune Ballroom," said senior class president Matt Smith.
Inspired by the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name, Margaritaville is one of the class-sponsored events backed by new funding from the Office of Student Affairs to encourage the creation of more student events. The sophomore and junior classes have also received $5,000, and the sophomore class is using its allocation to partially sponsor Thursday evening's Spiritual Blast concert with Christian rock singer Bebo Norman at Stepan Center.
"Classes ought to be enabled to have some other social programs than they have in the past," said Father Mark Poorman, vice president for Student Affairs.
Though previous senior class councils have sponsored events with alcohol at the Alumni-Senior Club, the mixture of alcohol and a Margaritaville theme by the lake was new, senior class officers said.
"We were trying to make events that we ourselves would really want to go to," Smith said, adding that he worked with the Office of Risk Management and Safety, Notre Dame Security/Police, RecSports and Catering by Design.
Poorman said he was "cautiously optimistic" when the officers approached him in April with their Margaritaville proposal. During that time, the campus was bracing itself following Poorman's announcement of the current alcohol policy that banned in-hall dances, restricted student tailgating and eliminated hard alcohol in the dorms.
Now that the new policy is in effect, Poorman said the senior class event sounded feasible.
"I thought it had the possibility of being a really good, responsible event where alcohol just happened to be served," Poorman said, adding that Student Affairs was glad to see the senior class sponsor an event outside of senior week.
Smith said that officials will ask students for identification Thursday and any students who display signs of intoxication or inappropriate behavior would be asked to leave.
Though 95 percent of the senior class is 21 and older, Smith said the senior class council initially thought of ways to include the five percent that is under 21.
"It would have been a logistical nightmare," Smith said, describing early ideas of sectioning off the beach into two areas for those over 21, and those under 21.
After abandoning that plan, Smith said the majority of the senior class will still have the chance to enjoy the event. Also, with the new allocation, Smith said he was optimistic about the senior class council's ability to create more events in the future.
"Money's great and all, but it's what you do with it," Smith said. "There could be some great events coming up this year."
In the case of inclement weather, Margaritaville will be held at Alumni-Senior Club from 4 to 6 p.m. instead of 5 to 7 p.m.
All News Stories for Monday, September 23, 2002