This past weekend’s Fall Festival was met, as I’m well aware, with a variety of responses. Cynicism, skepticism, optimism, and other -isms certainly underscored many conversations about the Festival following the Vice-Chancellor’s video announcement to the student body of the weekend’s events and and, perhaps more notably to some, “a pledge not to consume alcohol during this weekend.”
It is virtually impossible to stand against some of the more ingrained parts of Sewanee’s campus culture—the party culture in particular—without backlash. For this reason, events like this past weekend’s Fall Festival almost always are more poorly partaken in (or accepted) than is desired.
I have considered that it might have been more appropriate for student leaders to publicize the event and, more importantly, the reasons for the event. The event was undeniably called for in response to an incident involving students, and it undeniably addresses a campus culture that is driven by students. In this sense, the onus of action lies squarely on the students.
Perhaps this is naïveté on my part—naïveté that such an event could have or even should have been called for by a group other than the administration. I do not know. At the least, I know that I talked to several people who were excited to seize, in Dr. McCardell’s words, “the richness and diversity of wholesome activities available to us right here on the Domain.” Perhaps this is good enough.
Robert Beeland ‘18