The second floor of Alexandra Hall is decorated with cut out Roman style columns. King’s students flood to the second floor, white bed sheets billowing behind them.
Johanna Pyle-Carter grabs her bed sheet and a clothespin to complete her outfit forthe night’s toga party. She’s off to the party, a King’s tradition for the past few years.
This year, however, is the first time it won’t be held in one of the five bays. This year, the toga party was supposed to be held in North Pole Bay, but students weren’t as interested in hosting as they have been in past years.
Despite the change, Pyle-Carter says parties anywhere can be great, with a few decorations and a casual atmosphere.
“When people are moving and actually talking to each other and just when you feel like you can go in and the vibe is getting infectious,” said Pyle-Carter.
Kayla Fells, the campus safety coordinator, says parties need to start organically, even if, she says, students feel they should uphold a tradition such as the toga party.
“If they want it, it’s their party,” said Fells.
Some students, she says, do feel pressured to party and to host parties.
“I don’t like that some people feel that they have to party,” she said.
Fells lives on residence and says this year “a lot of the impromptu parties have been really good,” but, “there’s always a fair bit of pressure on campus to drink.”
Middle Bay don, Jesse Blackwood, says he thinks his bay hosted a few too many parties last year. This year his residence went on a two-week “party break” to encourage, he says, parties to bud elsewhere on campus — and different kinds of parties. He says parties often help develop communities and friendships, but often only at smaller parties.
“You can learn something through the organization and working together,” said Blackwood, “but you don’t learn anything from the party really because it’s impersonal and people are just getting drunk.”
Some Alex Hall students took on hosting the toga party, as well as the one for Halloween.
Pyle-Carter helped organize it, and she says it was a success.
“That, I think, is the first party that I’ve been to where people stuck around for a while. I think that has more to do with that they put up decorations,” said Pyle-Carter.
The school has put a few new rules in place, as well, in regards to parties.
Decorations might encourage a festive spirit, as Pyle-Carter says, but all confetti must be gone from the carpets and all glitter wiped from the walls by the next day.
Cleaners have suggested that students clean up from their parties by 1 p.m. the next day, and Nick Hatt, the dean of residence, says students have been good about respecting that.
Robert Hall, a maintenance worker at King’s, says he agrees and the worst mess he’s seen this year has been in the Wardroom, not in a residence.
Different this year, as well, is a new closeddoor policy for fire safety reasons. Students say this makes it harder for students to find out where parties are happening unless they know one of the hosts.
“I think those are two things that the student body is trying to work against,” said Blackwood. “The closed doors and no one is nineteen, so everybody has to stay in their rooms to drink.”