by Emmy Walters
March 31 marked another “Super Saturday” in Sewanee: a term inherited over the years for a day celebrating seniors of a variety of majors upon the completion of their comprehensive exams. Majors that “comp” on this day include English, Politics, Asian Studies, and Spanish majors. While Super Saturday usually entails crowds outside Gailor, Spencer, and DuPont waiting to congratulate their friends, a new approach to monitoring comp sites caused things to run a little differently on this celebratory day.
After mounting concerns and complaints about open alcohol, trash, and noise following comps, administration decided to more strongly enforce the University’s policies against public display of alcohol, and to minimize the general disruption on comp days after events this past January pushed matters too far. In the weeks leading up to Super Saturday, comping seniors and their friends were warned not to gather in noisy groups outside academic buildings and not to engage in public displays of alcohol.
Students were also warned that the Sewanee Police Department would be out and about enforcing these rules with fines up to $110 for alcohol violations. Instead of gathering outside academic buildings, friends of comping seniors were urged to gather in appropriate venues such as Shenanigans and The Pub in order to keep the day positive and respectful.
English major and former Purple editor-in-chief, Julia Wallace (C’14), said, “The crackdown definitely made the day less exciting for seniors. My friends weren’t able to greet me outside Gailor, so it was a very anticlimactic end to a comprehensive four-hour exam. I always loved comp celebrations because the seniors are so genuinely relieved and happy, and their friends are there supporting them. With everyone scattered this year, I felt like there was no catharsis.”
Although many students weren’t keen on these strict changes, comping seniors and their friends responded cooperatively and respectfully on Super Saturday. Aside from a few isolated alcohol violations, noise and distractions were minimized and areas near DuPont and Gailor were not polluted.