Every year when snow starts to melt and finals loom ahead, the cans of PBR, backward trucker hats and ironic t-shirts begin to emerge. Whether Ivies is indoors or out, Bowdoin students rally for the campus-wide event. However, some on campus do not participate in the weekend of revelry. Spring athletes, in the midst of their seasons, spend their time practicing and competing, while chem-free students seek out other alternatives to the traditional, booze-filled events. 

Bowdoin’s track and field teams competed in the NESCAC championship meet last Saturday during Ivies weekend, as they do every year.

“NESCACs is a big deal to all the sports teams,” Chris Genco ’15 said. “While the rest of the school is getting excited for Ivies, we can get just as excited for NESCACs. It takes a special kind of person to know that they’ll miss out on a huge campus wide event, but I think the team does a good job of being fully present and competes at the best of their ability.”

For the members of the track team, it is made clear from the beginning of the season that they will not be able to participate in Ivies.

“Ivies is a great state of mind for campus, but we realize that we won’t get to participate in the Saturday concert and can’t drink leading up to it,” added Genco.

Mettler Growney ’17 of the women’s lacrosse team shared similar feelings as Genco about the spring festival.

“It’s hard when everyone on campus is talking about Ivies, the concert and their plans when you have a huge playoff game right in the middle of that,” she said. “The lacrosse team did a really good job putting Ivies out of it and focusing on lacrosse, playing and winning the game, and then going to attend Ivies and having fun.”

Carolina Deifelt Streese ’16, a resident of Howell House, organized a number of chem free events during Ivies weekend. Howell sponsored a trip to Popham Beach and a movie on Friday, and a breakfast food Super Snack on Saturday night. 

“Howell tries to have events during Ivies for people who don’t necessarily want to go and drink, but still want to go and do things and participate in the weekend,” she said. 

Some chem free students do attend the typical Ivies events. 

“I make an effort to attend the events,” said Grace McKenzie-Smith ’17. “I went to the Thursday night concert and Brunswick Quad this year and last year I went to both of those things and also made it to the big concert. This year I didn’t like the bands playing.”

However, McKenzie-Smith said that it can be hard as a chem free student during the Ivies weekend.

“For myself and other people who are chem-free and just feel uncomfortable around people who are drunk, it’s very isolating,” she said. 

Members of the women’s lacrosse team, who played at home Saturday morning, went to Brunswick Quad on Friday to be with friends though they did not drink. They were also able to attend the concert on Saturday once they’d won their game.  

“In my eyes, that didn’t change anything,” said Growney. “I had so much fun. My friends who did drink said they had so much fun with me. It didn’t stop the lacrosse girls from being themselves and having fun even though we had practice right after.”

Although many cannot participate in the traditional Ivies, there are other Student Activities sponsored events throughout the year for Bowdoin students to participate in such as Spring Gala, Junior-Senior Ball and concerts and shows such as the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company. 

McKenzie-Smith said that she generally enjoys Spring Gala more than Ivies. 

“I feel like the focus is much less on drinking,” she said “Ivies, I have no choice. I have to be surrounded by alcohol.”

Hy Khong and Nicole Wetsman contributed to this report.