Dear President Spencer and Dean McIntosh,
My name is Grace Pezzella. I am a senior writing an Honors History Thesis, with no record of misconduct, and I am a concerned member of this community. I am 21, I drink regularly, and I have attended Trick or Drink since freshman year. I recognize the efforts of the College to make our campus a safer place, and I support this initiative. However, events like Trick or Drink are significant not because of the alcohol involved, but because they foster camaraderie based on a love of and respect for the traditions passed down to us by upperclassmen since the beginning of our time at Bates.
Respectfully, my peers and I will drink regardless of whether or not there is a sanctioned event. I am of age, I adhere to laws that limit my ability to drink openly in public places, and I am appreciative and aware of my surroundings at all times. I am not in the minority. In the past, Trick or Drink has been a relatively mild event, especially in comparison to school-sanctioned functions like 80s Dance and even the All-College Gala. It is, after all, a school night, and Bates students take their studies seriously. This Halloween tradition is not as much about drinking as it is, simply, tradition.
All of this aside, the administration applied a glaring double-standard when making the decision to cancel Trick or Drink. Bates encourages its students to become adults in their time here, to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions. Bates teaches us that community is invaluable, and that creating spaces in which people can put aside their differences for a common objective is of the utmost importance. However, canceling Trick or Drink without offering an open forum in which members of the community who felt passionately about this issue could gather and discuss ideas implies that we are incapable of mature, adult reasoning–the very skill set this college is intent on granting us.
We are not upset because we have lost an opportunity to drink. We are disappointed in the unnecessary loss of another tradition that brought us together as a community, and the lack of faith our administration demonstrated in us by making this decision a closed process. I love this school because of what it represents in theory, but the reality is that Bates College no longer resembles the fun-loving, democratic, and open environment into which I matriculated. Until we can reach a meeting of the minds over this sudden and surprising culture shift, I cannot in good conscience continue to sing the praises of Bates College or contribute financially as a member of the senior class.
Thank you for your time,
Class of 2015