Dead Weekends: Alcohol, CAC, and Your Money!by: Matt Buchanan ‘13
With two drug and alcohol-related deaths of Hampden-Sydney students within a year, the time has come to reevaluate entertainment options available on campus. The weekends at H-SC have become a ghost town with no opportunity for entertainment but football games and frat parties whenever they appear. This leads to one of three choices for public entertainment on campus: party, do nothing, or go home. This in turn leads to the taking of substances either as part of the party action or from pure boredom.
This culture on campus has led to dangerous patterns of drinking developing among students. The CAC plans its events at times not to the benefit of the school as time during the week days, which are times either for studying, work, or lectures. Weekdays are filled with video game tournaments offering large prizes whereas the weekends are left barren with the exceptions being a few CAC sponsored game nights every few Fridays.
It was suggested in a letter-to-the-editor titled “Welcome to Suitcase University!” in the last issue of the Tiger that the CAC should grant money to have the fraternities host weekly events. This undermines the need for college-sponsored events as they offer students choices other than parties. Clubs like the Animation Society, which hold a bi-weekly movie showing, are left to offer an alternative event from the frats with far less funding.
Students pay $208 a year in activities and due to allocations by the Student Finance Committee, half of that money goes to the College Activities Committee. The CAC receives more money that any other organization on campus under the SFC’s purview. The cost of one CAC event is valued at the same level of many clubs’ budget for the entire year. This money is not always being spent on campus either. For example, the CAC sent fifteen students to the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins game. The trip is estimated by the CAC at a value of at least $3,750. If the entertainment culture on campus is going to be changed by means already available, then either the CAC needs to focus on more small events available on the weekends for students or the SFC should consider less appropriations to the CAC and more towards the clubs that have already displayed the ability to hold entertaining and cost effective activities.
The Student Senate, College Activities Council and Student Finance Committee were unwilling to turn over records or be interviewed for this article.