This year's Ivies inspired me to solve the most difficult problem I've encountered at Bowdoin. Our utter lack of community tradition is a serious problem calling for a serious remedy. Without tradition, we are nothing.

The way I see it, every weekend has the potential to be one of the most exciting weekends of the year. Why is it that when Ivies comes around everyone suddenly goes apeshit? Every year, Ivies proves to me that we students know how to have a good time together. We should prove this to each other more often.

What's good about Ivies? The editors of the Orient stated the main five goals of Ivies as being: "1. Ignore all schoolwork 2. Be outside as much as possible 3. Hang out with friends 4. Listen to great music 5. Let go of inhibitions."

OK, well besides the fact that I try and adhere to at least four of those on a daily basis, I'd say that unless we believe our editors are into stating the obvious, we as a campus must take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror and ask if we don't want to have more fun? Rousseau called it the social contract. And by the way, I wrote two papers over Ivies and had a blast, thank you very much. The school is holding us back in more ways than one, but Ivies is exactly the type of tradition that we need more of.

We must collectively challenge a problem that, more than any other, contributes to the decline of the Bowdoin College community. It threatens to divide us because the gravity of the situation is ignored: I'm talking about our "party" scene, or lack thereof.

Bowdoin's registered parties are generally haphazard, sterile, meaningless, keg-centered orgies. What do they stand for? Is "Saturday night" our best reason to dance, drink, and be merry? Are we celebrating free beer as payback for the absence of traditional fraternizing? Social house parties, with a few marginal exceptions, have been sterilized beyond the point of recognizing a true celebration. Typically there are some symptoms of a party (dark rooms, the smell of beer, people, keg) but there is not much social celebrating going on. The establishment of tradition as a keystone (no pun intended) of campus life is crucial to this institution.

Bowdoin needs more campus-wide celebratory traditions to ensure that all can celebrate together more than once a year. Reveling within a community not only makes working hard worthwhile, but it also provides the best kind of opportunity to interact with the friendly faces who get lost in the shuffle of schoolwork. Forming meaningful bonds through established tradition and noble intoxication means more campus continuity. What will we remember when we graduate? Good old-fashioned, healthy, traditional revelry.

Our current motto, "Get blacked out," may be about our school colors, but it speaks volumes to how whitewashed and disconnected the Bowdoin community truly is. The American-materialist-without-a-soul thesis lives within the weekend blackout mindset.

I know we're all in some way competing with one another, but isn't a community-wide tradition the easiest way to achieve our greatest goal of contributing to the common good? Put down the work and have some fun as a campus, shall we? Teams have souls, clubs have heart, but our community needs to check its pulse more often.

Granted the authorities on campus can come to grips with this obvious need for tradition, it should be very easy for us to find adequate cause to celebrate. Are you with me?

Consider the legend of Ivies: We celebrate the day that Bowdoin declined an invitation to join the Ivy League. Have you heard that one? Well, that is a myth. If you didn't know that it was a myth, at least it sounds good. That is, until you talk to a student at Princeton or Harvard and hear how many traditional party weekends they celebrate. If we had accepted that invitation to the Ivy League, perhaps we would be celebrating together more often.

Is Ivies for the Bowdoin students, who failed to reach the Ivy League, to commiseratively get blacked out? Certainly not, but the current, alcohol first, community second attitude towards partying seems to suggest that this could be the case.

Bowdoin College, by eliminating frats and purchasing keg beer, seems to endorse the consumption-as-cause-for-partying philosophy. This is breaking down our sense of community. Some students, like career alcoholics and eighth graders, get drunk behind locked doors before they even go out. Whereas in my hometown we sip whiskey together and talk and hit the dance floor when the right song comes on, many Bowdoin students, because of the illegality of hard liquor, are drinking vodka in the bathroom for the first time since their acne cleared.

Bowdoin could encourage students to drink liquor responsibly by teaching about safe consumption. Instead, the College tacitly endorses sketchy consumption that is not only more dangerous, but crushes the community concept of celebration.

Students and administrators together need to unlock their doors and open up to the idea of a cohesive campus. The administration owes us this right, and quite frankly, we will all be better off for it. We need to supplant consumption with tradition as a cause for partying.

We need to collectively diagnose the problem, and establish meaningful community traditions. In the spirit of this op-ed, I urge the campus to start making preparations for Fall Ivies. Call the IHC and let them know that on the first, second, third, and fourth sunny weekends of August and September, we're going to need 12 kegs and 100 pizzas on the Quad, hand-delivered by Randy Nichols. This is not a joke. This is a serious solution to a serious problem.

We experienced a fantastic demonstration of good attitude and good spirits over Ivies, so what is holding us back from getting down like that every weekend? Sean Kingston sucked, so it's not the music. Last year Talib was just as bad, so there's double confirmation. The best performances (besides Santigold) were the student bands, so there's no need to drop major cash on big names. The gap between us and good time can only be bridged by tradition. There is only one weekend per year where the school says basically says, "have as much fun as you want to."

Bowdoin College is in need of a fundamental change. The key word here is fun. As we have all experienced, Ivies is one of the best weekends of the year. Technology, heavy workloads, and the weather keep student bogged down indoors and separated from each other. What we need is tradition to break the chains that shackle individuals and keep community values at bay.

Rutledge Long is a member of the Class of 2010.