Glow of pard

Lafayette has closed the paint-can lids on another “PardGlow” event at March Field last Friday, September 12. The weather was good, the students were excited, and the paint was fortunately a bit more watered down than it had been in previous years.

Overall, the success and entertainment of Lafayette’s campus-sponsored events is great. However, this night, amidst the black light, florescent paint, EDM, and dancing students that flocked March Field last Friday night, one could still make out the harsh flashes of ambulance lights in the parking lot. Despite all the excitement and preparation that builds up to these events, why do we still suffer these indiscretions? Do these nighttime events always have to be associated with wild behavior and misguided judgment? Or do Lafayette students always overdo it because campus-sponsored social events such as PardGlow are so few and far between?

I am currently a junior, but somehow still remember my first weeks of freshmen year vividly. From Club Farinon to 1,000 Nights Dance, I felt I was digging into the nightlife at Lafayette. These were chances to branch out of your orientation group and meet new people. Plus, it was always comically disillusioning to see your orientation leader let loose dancing at Club Farinon – a situation you never thought you’d see him or her in. However, soon these events are over and freshmen are left to fend for themselves. I remember turning to my best friend and saying, “Wait, so that was just an orientation thing? These events aren’t going to be every week?”

At Lafayette, and at most colleges, every student makes his or her identity a group identity. When people are asked what they “do,” they say, “I play baseball,” “I’m in a sorority,” “I perform in musicals,” “I write for the campus newspaper,” etc. It’s a natural instinct to want a sense of belonging on a college campus. However, when Lafayette puts on an event, such as PardGlow or the Spring Concert, for one night or day students are granted permission to just be a member of Lafayette. There are no “groups” because everyone’s invited, and you see people out at night who you don’t normally see throughout the year. 

So what do students do? They get excited, and they make it a night to remember. PardGlow was great last Friday, but there was something aggressive about it, and I’m not just talking about the bruises on every single one of my toes due to the inevitable moshing on the field. There’s something different about these campus held, nighttime events. Most students want to go because it is unlike any other night out at Lafayette. 

However, dangerous situations usually follow. People want to have a great time, and sometimes drink too much…way too much. One may argue these events are therefore not a good idea, but that’s not true. There aren’t enough of them, so students throw every ounce of energy into the few that we are able to attend. And yes, these events require a great deal of planning and money, but having more of them could do the campus some good. 

The cost of throwing these events more often would be nothing compared with the benefits it would yield. Students would feel less inclined to “throw all their eggs in one basket,” such as PardGlow, because another event would be right around the corner. Not only could this result in more safety, but also a less group-oriented, or “cliquey” college campus. When a Lafayette student hears of something happening on a Friday night that is not just for a select group, but every member of campus. Well, that’s pretty damn refreshing.