Senior boat party sets sail early

Even though graduation is six months away, four St. Thomas students have already organized a senior party boat to celebrate the class of 2013, complete with an open bar at the Pourhouse and river boat ride.

Senior Andrew Coleman is one of the seniors who is planning the event and said he wanted to get the ball rolling.

<p>The Jonathan Padelford authentic sternwheeler floats down the Mississippi River. Coleman said his planning group decided to book the river ride portion of the senior party through Padelford Riverboats, St. Paul. (Photo Courtesy of Padelford Riverboats)</p>
The Jonathan Padelford authentic sternwheeler floats down the Mississippi River. Coleman said his planning group decided to book the river ride portion of the senior party through Padelford Riverboats, St. Paul. (Photo Courtesy of Padelford Riverboats)

“We had this idea a couple months ago and we just decided to get on it right away because we think we can throw a good party and we just want to make sure we got the date that we wanted to,” Coleman said.

The event capped at 600 students is set for Monday, May 27, two days after the commencement ceremony.

“We assumed that people would have family in town for that Saturday and Sunday so we just thought that Monday would be good,” Coleman said. “We were able to get good prices on the stuff to make it affordable for the students as well.”

Senior Jackie Kruchoski said the date won’t affect post-grad plans for those who want to attend.

“I believe that a lot of students have jobs already lined up, but most of students don’t start until mid or end summer or in the fall so  I don’t think it will even cross their mind to not go,” Kruchoski said.

Students pay via a PayPal account linked on the Facebook event page. The price is set at $65, plus an additional $2.27 going toward the website’s usage fee. The total cost includes all the evening’s amenities.

Senior Adam Hill said he already bought his ticket and is looking forward to being with all his friends for one last time.

“Let’s be real … boats, bars and booze? You’d be dumb not to (go),” Hill said.

Kruchoski said she is “thrilled” that her classmates have this celebration planned this far in advance.

“I am so excited that the majority of the seniors will be able to be together to celebrate our four years together,” Kruchoski said. “It is so great the whole night is planned out, how cheap it is and the fact that we are going to be doing amazing things.”

Coleman said there’s a lot more that goes into planning an event of this size than most realize.

“We’re paying for boats and we’re paying for shuttling from the boats to the Pourhouse, which we rented out for the entire night and there’s going to be an open bar there, which is obviously very expensive,” Coleman said. “Then we have to pay for security, insurance and food and everything on top of that.”

Coleman has been in contact with the university, and said it is a top priority for him to make sure it realizes that the event’s coordinators are not trying to step on anyone’s toes.

“We just want to make it clear that we’re not trying to be a reflection of the university in anyway,” Coleman said. “It’s just myself and a couple friends trying to throw a party for the senior class.”

And if you’re an underclassman, Coleman said you won’t make the list.

“As far as the Facebook group goes, we’ve made it open to allowing anyone to invite people because obviously we aren’t going to be (Facebook) friends with every single senior,” he said. “We need to have people inviting their friends so that was really our only option-.”

Coleman said when it comes time to actually getting on the boat, his partners will likely have a list of seniors in an effort to try and keep the event exclusive.

As far as the university-sponsored events go, Senior Class President Sara Greethurst said the Senior Class Council is already working on planning the Senior Week. Greethurst said St. Thomas can’t host a senior boat party because of “legal issues.”

Greethurst said Senior Week will most likely be the week before finals.

“Right now we’re still mainly just in the philosophical planning,” Greethurst said. “We’re still going to do the main thing that they did last year, which is the senior night where they shut down the student center.”

Greethurst said she got a head start on planning last year.

“They had a bunch of events that I went to last year actually so I could get some ideas and figure out what exactly I want to do differently or the same,” Greethurst said.

With graduation around the corner, Greethurst said she wants seniors to have one last opportunity to feel like kids before entering the real world.

“We’re thinking we want sumo wrestling. Basically, what you did in high school but on a college level because right now we’re not embarrassed to put on sumo suits and go wrestling. We want it be like the last blowout because you can still be a kid now and you’re not going to have the chance ever again.”

Hill said while he hadn’t heard of all the Senior Week festivities, he will “definitely take part” in them.

“(It) sounds like my high school senior all night party, but for an entire week,” Hill said.

Greethurst said the council may have some other cards on the table.

“There may be some gambling, we haven’t decided yet. And then I want to plan an event to a Twins game and another give away during the week,” Greethurst said.

Greethurst said the council would like to have one event or prize giveaway for each day of Senior Week.

“It depends upon what my budget is, which from what I’ve been told is pretty substantial. So, I should have enough to do everything I want,” Greethurst said.

Cynthia Johnson, Hannah Anderson, Hayley Schnell and Briggs LeSavage contributed to this report.