With December graduates and students who didn’t get a ticket early enough voicing their complaints, this year’s senior riverboat cruise has received more criticism than usual.
Director of Campus Life and Undergraduate Student Government adviser Margaret Cahill and senior class president Thomas Engrav have been receiving complaints from students who graduated in December 2009 because they were not invited to the riverboat cruise.
This decision was based on a couple of reasons, according to Cahill.
The main factor is the alcohol license that St. Thomas received is for current students only.
“The alcohol policy at St. Thomas is that events that involve students need to involve current students,” Cahill said. “There is sometimes an opportunity to have guests, but it increases the logistics of it.”
Kushal Doshi graduated in December, a semester earlier than most of his classmates. He said he was very disappointed when he found out he wouldn’t be able to attend.
“I thought it would be a great way to see my classmates one last time and a fun way to celebrate graduation,” Doshi said. “It seemed that I was being penalized because I worked hard and graduated a semester early.”
Doshi said he understands the school’s alcohol policy for non-current students, but he still thinks there were other options.
“I would have gladly signed a waiver that would not hold St. Thomas liable,” Doshi said.
Cahill said 500 seniors can attend the event, even though the boat capacity is a little larger.
“It’s a St. Thomas sponsored event, and so Public Safety determines the number that’s appropriate,” Cahill said. “So my guess is that if we took the alcohol out of the equation, we might be able to increase it a little bit.”
Even at its full capacity, the boat doesn’t hold the entire senior class, Cahill said.
The question then becomes whether students are willing to give up the alcohol on the cruise in order to include more of their class in the event. Cahill said the idea of an alcohol-free event or a different event all together is proposed to the senior class each year.
“But when you’re a senior that’s been thinking about it for the last couple years and you know about it, nobody ever wants to be the first year to do something different,” Cahill said. “Nobody wants to give up that tradition.”
Senior class president Thomas Engrav said he’s received e-mails from former students who were hoping to attend the event.
“I’m friends with some of them that can’t go, and it sucks,” Engrav said. “It’s just the policy, I guess.”
Cahill said that with the large number of complaints this year, future senior classes may consider other options for a final event that would be more inclusive.
“Because of the amount of feed back that we’ve gotten, we’ve been able to take it all and share it with next senior class president, Marcy Warren,” Cahill said. “And then it’s for them to decide whether or not they want to have the alcohol.”
Engrav said he understands people’s disappointment about not being able to attend, as does Cahill.
“We certainly understand that people are disappointed,” Cahill said. “Last year somebody called in tears, and I was in tears by the time I got off the phone. I felt so bad.”
Kelly Trussell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org