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Baxter House placed on House probation until break

February 18, 2022

Amira Oguntoyinbo
ON HOUSE PROBATION: Baxter House cannot host registered social events through spring break and the house’s funds have been frozen for the time being.

Baxter House is on House probation until spring break due to an incident in the house one week ago.

Baxter hosted a small gathering of a few house members in which they played “Champagne and Shackles.” In the game, two members of the house are handcuffed together and have to drink a bottle of champagne before being “unlocked.” The house members left the handcuffs unlocked, and there was no obligation to drink.

“[Event leaders] thought they ran it okay. They made a random partner list, cleared it with the participants and everyone consented,” Baxter House resident Mason Phoenix ’24 said.

Following the event, the house member who bought the toy handcuffs sought reimbursement from the Residential Life office and was met with disapproval.

Director of Residential Education and Associate Director of Student Life Whitney Hogan emailed the house following this exchange to let the members know they were under House probation.

House probation bars the house from hosting registered social events through spring break. Security has been instructed to do extra walkthroughs of the house. Baxter’s house funds have also been frozen through spring break, and they will have to request any spending for the rest of the year prior to the break.

Baxter House members will also be required to schedule a conversation with the Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity and Director of Title IX, Gender Violence Prevention and Education Benje Douglas about the potential this event had for hurting the community. All Baxter House members are required to be present for this discussion, and a member of the Res Life office will attend and take attendance.

The members of Baxter House had planned to do affiliate events this coming week, so those events have been pushed until after the break.

“I feel like the house as a whole is embarrassed because we try to be inclusive. We are a diverse group of individuals, so we don’t want the rest of campus thinking we are exclusive or problematic,” Phoenix said.


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  1. Lester P. ‘00 says:

    A word of advice for young Polar Bears from your old pal Uncle Lester P. ‘00. When you want to get away with doing dumb stuff in your free time (which is every college student’s right), for the love of god – do not submit receipts. This bit of advice will also serve you well when someday leave the friendly confines of Camp Bobo and have an expense account. Although my preference for a party like this would be have been a 24-pack of Natty Lite and zip ties (versus Champagne and novelty handcuffs), good to hear that someone is still trying to have youthful fun on campus these days. Too bad “the man” cracked down on you and will force you to listen to someone drone on about all the people this may have “hurt” (um, the correct answer is “no one”).

    • John O. ‘00 says:

      Dollars to doughnuts this is an Appellation d’Origine Controlee issue. Are students paying up for legally designated Champagne? Probably not. It was probably just sparkling wine. Honestly, I hope it was Boones Farm – maybe Strawberry Hill or Blue Hawaiian. The point is, just because it has bubbles doesn’t mean you get to call it Champagne. Of course the deans are gonna come after you for that. Classic college student gaffe.

    • Caroline '10 says:

      The college won’t pay for alcohol for college houses. They will pay for decorations, food, non-alcoholic drinks, etc. So this was an objection from the college to the handcuffs.

  2. Class of ‘24 says:

    Res Life uses this game specifically as an example when they explain why we can’t buy zip ties…

  3. Shaun says:

    Oh the humanity! Res life having the vapors about this is just as ridiculous as them being up in arms about someone drinking tequila with a [GASP!] sombrero on their head a few years ago and calling it cultural appropriation. That said, whoever tried to get reimbursed for the handcuffs is a fry short of a Happy Meal.

  4. Tim Doyle says:

    Is this like an The Onion type of story? Strange shit has gone on at Bowdoin houses and should go on.

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