Cancellation prompts vandalism on Colby campus
Colby students caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the campus in response to the cancellation of the annual "Doghead" celebration this year, an annual party celebrating Saint Patrick's Day similar to Ivies Weekend.
The cancellation stemmed from a warning by the local police of a zero tolerance for underage students showing signs of intoxication. The total cost of the damage has not yet been determined.
On March 9, three days before the party was scheduled to occur, the Waterville Police contacted the hosts of the party, stating that any person under 21 caught with alcohol or under then influence of alcohol would be arrested, as would the individuals who provided the alcohol. In light of this warning, the party hosts voted to cancel the event, which generally occurs at an off-campus house.
According to an email sent by Colby President William "Bro" Adams, "students broke thousands of dollars worth of windows, threw a chair out of a dorm window and through Associate Dean Cecilia Stanton's windshield, overturned a valuable outdoor sculpture at the museum, did other damage, and chanted obscenities on the library steps." The email also stated that Colby administrators did not notify the local police of the event.
Students blamed the administration for the cancellation of the long-standing Doghead tradition. Around 400 students gathered and chanted on the library steps in order to express their frustration with the administration.
Colby student Jake Moe '06, one of the students that was present, said, "I think students were angry at the administration because we thought they had narced [sic] us out."
Moe also remembers students expressing their disapproval of the administration in various forms, including t-shirts: "We have a shirt that says 'buck fates,' but does it say something that we also have a shirt that says 'buck fro'?"
The events have sparked widespread debate on the Colby campus, with some students upset by the actions of the administration and others upset by the reaction of the students. The Colby student government decided to condemn the damage caused to the campus, and students have been asked to report any relevant information to security and the deans.
Some Bowdoin students expressed understanding of the events at Colby while not necessarily supporting the damage done to the school.
Charlotte Carlsen '06 said, "I think the students had a right to be upset, but it seems like their anger was misdirected. It sounds like the local police may have had as much, if not more, to do with that than the Colby administration."
Dean of Student Affairs Craig Bradley said, "I can't say much without a better understanding of what actually took place. I am proud to note that over the past few years, we have seen very little major vandalism at Bowdoin. By and large, Bowdoin students respect their campus and one another's property."
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