Riverboat complaints arise from December graduates

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 kmtrussell@stthomas.edu

8 Replies to “Riverboat complaints arise from December graduates”

  1. No one wants to give up the tradition? What about Kushal and the others that have voiced complaints? What about the others that don’t get to attend because they were number 501, 502, etc. in line? Seems to me that those in charge don’t want to go through the work of finding a new venue that can hold the entire senior class. It is quite easy to accomplish better results with proper planning. Don’t wait until the last minute to organize such a large event and learn from the mistakes of the past. I am sure this is not the first year December graduates voiced complaints. Again, people choose to take these positions and some are paid to be in the positions. Start producing results or don’t choose to take the position. These people would not be in power very long at a real job if these were the results being produced. It is too late for those like Kushal and those who were unable to get a ticket. Their experiences as seniors do not live up to the promises made to students as freshman. I realize everyone can’t be pleased, but there is surely a way to allow the entire Class of 2010 to attend the designated senior dance.

  2. Poor planning and poor insight into potential problems. Its becoming a real pattern on campus (see: Jordin Sparks concert, social host ordinance planning with St. Paul Police, etc.). When will people start telling UST to start actually using their money effectively or just not go there in the first place?

  3. Simply understanding the privilege behind an education is just too hard these days without a riverboat ride and drunken stupor…

    If only every person were blessed with such trivial problems.

    Producing results pertaining to the reform of the senior riverboat celebration would require a halt in the production of results that actually matter.

  4. Adam- Obviously no one’s saying this is life or death here and these might be ‘trivial problems’ to yourself but to a lot of students issues like this are important when choosing a school. Allocation of funds is something every student should be aware of and I feel it is a good thing when students realize they have a voice and can help change the practices they deem unfair.

  5. I’m right there with you, John and Adam.  University= academic institution.  All this money spent in a frivolous manner could be better used elsewhere.  There are many academic buildings and resources that would benefit greatly from upgrades.  Believe it or not, college is about learning and education. 

  6. I would like to clarify my point. I think it’s essential for these types of student events to take place in order to create a comfortable and productive student environment. With that said, I take issue with the fact the the riverboat trip and spring concert are things that all students feel entitled too.

    As students paying tuition we’re not shareholders folks, we’re customers. It’s not our money their spending, it’s theirs, and UST spends their money based on conditions that we all agreed to.

  7. Adam, they feel entitled to these “things” because it was one of the attractive qualities of the school for which they signed up for, if that makes sense. By not coming through on something such as this, they are only hurting their image. More and more brothers, sisters, friends, etc. of graduates will choose other schools that are cheaper and actually provide the cool perks they promise (see: Spring Jam at the U and Mifflin Street Block Party at Madison). If UST wants these trends to continue, the “customers” will go elsewhere.

    Also, the spirit of a University is that they are beholden to the people who frequent and are in it, because without that attitude it ceases to be a University and becomes like a High School (i.e. do what I say and you can’t argue with it). Unless if UST wants to get a reputation of being just a continuation of High School (which socially it seems already have), then they should start being more friendly to the requests and demands of students, and continue to provide the services that make them attractive while choosing a University.

  8. College is about a lot more than what happens in the class room. It’s about getting an education that makes you a more well-rounded person; not just an accountant or chemist or political scientist. The product we are purchasing (or, in some cases, have purchased) from St. Thomas is just as much a social education as it is a purely academic education. In fact, the social education is probably more important (I can learn how to be an accountant by apprenticing for a whole lot less than $120,000). Events like the Riverboat are a NECESSARY part of that education not just a bonus if you buy another product. Excluding a large segment of the senior class (those who graduated in December and will in May) is essentially defrauding them of a product/service that they paid good money for. That is simply unacceptable.

Comments are closed.