Whilst many a Batesie was enjoying the splendor of Short Term’s first weekend, I ventured south to another small college’s spring party weekend. Bowdoin Ivies, best described as a three-day, all-campus party, vastly differed from what us Batesies experience with school security and party guidelines.
The whole experience started Thursday with a brief AJR concert in their student union. Like the Bates concerts, students were dancing around, bumping and grinding to the music. While technically guests were not allowed, security was relaxed and focused primarily on ensuring the safety of intoxicated students. Consequently, no one seemed to care that a non-Bowdoin student was infiltrating the mix, as long as I remained well-behaved. The concert itself was pretty good; the three-brother group of Alex, Jack, and Ryan Met delivered on their most-popular songs “Sober Up” and “I’m Ready.”
Friday, students in one set of campus apartments host an outdoor party, “Quad Day,” in a small grassy area surrounded by school-owned Brunswick Apartment buildings. They had set up beer pong tables out in the grass next to can-jam and corn hole, while a food truck handed out free poutine to the masses. Another student had set up large speakers and was DJing to a crowd of dancers. As I hung out with friends, I noticed male sports teams in themed tank tops grilling and girls in their Coachella finest, tinted glasses and all.
Meanwhile, Bowdoin Security was watching out for incoherent students, taking away glass bottles, and helping students access the water stations posted around the periphery of the lawn. When one student popped open his bottle of champagne, a security guard walked over and grabbed a red cup off a nearby pong table. He handed the cup to the student, watched as the student emptied the champagne into the cup, then took the glass bottle away.
The events concluded Saturday with more outdoor parties around campus in preparation for the late afternoon concert. As I walked around and tossed a frisbee with friends on their main academic quad, amused prospective families wandered about while students partied on lawns across the Bowdoin campus. One family even stopped us and asked what was going on; most of the time, colleges try to avoid showing prospective students the party life at the school.
Around 4pm, most parties ended and students congregated near the baseball field and athletic facilities. Dining services had prepared a cookout just outside the field house, and students could easily wander around the cookout and into the field house concert venue. Between eating and attending the concert, I threw a football around and caught some of the nearby baseball game. The relaxed atmosphere made it easy for students to calm down and hang out in the last few days of their school year.
Around 5:50pm, DRAM took the stage and headlined a much-anticipated performance. The German-born artist was chosen much like how the Bates CHPB selects performances for our fall concerts; the governing board selects a group of performers within their budget range and sends out a survey for students to complete a few months before the concert date. DRAM was one of the more popular choices and consequently was chosen to come to campus.
DRAM typically is classed in the genres of trap and hip-hop music, two styles I do not enjoy, however, the energy in the crowd made the concert more enjoyable. Students were jumping up and down and pumping their fists in time to the beat, and it was hard to stand still. He performed some of his best-known hits, such as “Broccoli,” and the crowd was ecstatic.
As I drove back to Bates, I wondered whether it was better to have one weekend of crazy parties or five weeks of relaxed fun. Short Term gives us the chance to spread out the shenanigans, and we don’t have many tests or finals. In contrast, Bowdoin students have one weekend of concentrated, much-anticipated partying two weeks before their final exams. While Ivies was definitely a great time, I much prefer the Bates model of moderation and relaxation over the entire five weeks of Short Term.