Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman Drinking Culture: It Must be Protected

Illustration by Jonah Rosen-Bloom

Washington State Law RCW 66.44.270 prohibits those under 21-years-old from consuming, acquiring or distributing alcohol. 

Personally, I disagree. 

For the Whitman party scene in particular, drunk freshmen and their year-long absent alcohol tolerance is a canon event to memorialize the beginning of their liberal-arts career, and we must not interfere. 

Each Friday night takes off as tradition orders, with seventeen freshmen crammed into a dorm room with past-students’ puke stains hidden in the carpet. They pass around the essential handle of Safeway’s cheapest vodka, and after it painfully makes its way down their throats, the freshman class can finally be released. 

Early 2010s pop music will echo down Isaacs’, luring them like moths to a flame. They’ll push through crowds lingering outside of rented houses and porch couches, tripping and stumbling over crushed beer cans and red solo cups. 

Once the strobe lights illuminate the low-rise jeans and platform loafers that were carefully thrifted from the depths of Seattle, they have reached the point of no return.

The freshmen will get swallowed by a sea of upperclassmen. In this energetic whirlwind, the college experience transforms from a passive group of swaying students and into what can only be described as a visual interpretation of ADHD: the Whitman Mosh Pit. It is here that alcohol will spill, sweat will drip and history will be repeated.

The end of the night holds as much significance for drunk freshmen as the party itself. As the freshmen shuffle down the sidewalk, they’ll step over the bodies of honors thesis candidates, listen to drunk girls give speeches on how much they love each other and stumble into the chance to rescue an upperclassman looking for an excuse to walk away from the receiving end of unwanted rizz; walking a freshman home is the perfect escape. 

From ducklings hatching in Spring to raunchy photos featuring Styx, alcohol has been ingrained into the fabric of the campus. Discouraging the use of alcohol at Whitman would be like taking maple syrup from a Canadian, it removes significant cultural identity. But at the end of the day, it’s not about the alcohol or the law, it’s about becoming part of the party culture that has formed Whitman into the campus that it is today.

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