New and improved Senior Night is deemed success
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 01:10
The Class of 2014 has taken on its new role as the senior class, settling into leadership positions and thinking about questions related to post-Tufts life. Following a tradition that works to unite the class, the Senior Class Council sponsored the first Senior Night of the year on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Tequila Rain in Boston. Although the events, formerly known as Senior Pub Nights, have received criticism in past years, the event has persisted in popularity.
Logistically, Senior Night events require planning in part from the Senior Class Council in conjunction with the Office for Campus Life (OCL) to execute contracts and organize transportation.
“It’s really pretty simple,” Senior Class Vice President Nick Cutsumpas said. “The key is making sure you do this all ahead of time and scout out the venue.”
When it came to deciding on the venue, considerations were made based on both size and location, according to Senior Class President Patrick Kazley.
“Tequila Rain is near Fenway so we had to make sure there was no Boston game,” Kazley said. “Since there wasn’t, that made it a very attractive option. It had a very easy drive in and out, so that [we] could drop the students off the buses right near the front door. All of that fed into our decision.”
Chris Bruno, the general manager of Tequila Rain as well as both Gypsy Bar and Liquor Store on Boylston Street, all venues of past Senior Night events, is exceptionally accommodating, Cutsumpas said. Although the Senior Class Council must plan many of the logistics of the event, Cutsumpas credited Bruno with a significant degree of the planning.
“From a logistics standpoint, when you’re working with someone like Chris Bruno, who has done things like this before, he takes care of a lot of it,” Cutsumpas said.
As part of the contract, Tequila Rain ensures that the bar is open to only Tufts students for the night, which Kazley said achieves the type of atmosphere a Senior Night should have.
“It serves the purpose of the event, which is to bring us together and not have other people there,” Kazley said.
As a venue, Tequila Rain offers an optimal environment for the unification of the senior class that the event aims to achieve, according to Kazley.
“The primary difference between a successful venue and a not-as-successful venue is that we like an open venue where you don’t get partitioned off into different groups,” he said. “That’s why Tequila Rain is great. ... You can walk from one side to the other and probably run into everybody who is there in one fell swoop.”
Sarah Solomon, a senior who attended September’s Senior Night event, believed the venue was a great fit for the Class of 2014.
“[Tequila Rain] felt like a true Boston club,” she said. “It had a dance floor, and what else do you really need?”
In addition to signing a contract with the venue, the Senior Class Council must also have a contract with a bus company to ensure transportation to and from the event. Ten buses drove a continuous loop from the Tufts campus to the venue and back, according to Kazley.
In past years, Senior Night transportation has had difficulty in relation to time spent waiting in lines, a problem that finds its roots in later arrivals. This year, however, Kazley said that the Senior Class Council tried something different to streamline the process.
“Historically one of the biggest roadblocks to having a really successful Senior Night is having a long line outside of the venue,” Kazley said. “This time, we sold the tickets via bus times. If you bought the 9 p.m. bus ticket, the next Senior Night would be free. What that did was incentivize people to come earlier.”
The Senior Class Council, however, still hopes to make the night more efficient.
“We were happy with it overall,” Kazley said. “There are small adjustments we will make in terms of trying to get even more students to come earlier. We could potentially have a night without any lines.”
Another potential difficulty that the event could have had, Kazley noted, was with the legal drinking age. Because the senior class is composed of students who are not necessarily 21 yet, the inclusivity of the event is restricted by nature of it taking place at a bar or club. According to Kazley, however, negativity surrounding this challenge may distract from the larger objective of Senior Night.
“Even though [Senior Night] is at a bar, it’s not a drinking event: It’s a social event,” Kazley said.
Cutsumpas said that, accordingly, the official event name has also been changed from Senior Pub Night to simply Senior Night.
Legal age restrictions, however, are not among the only limiting factors of Senior Night. Kazley pointed out that regardless of the ages of the senior class members, attendance is still limited due to size restrictions of many venues.
“We wish the whole senior body could participate, but the hard truth is that even if everybody was able to participate, we could not fit the whole class in a single venue anywhere in Boston,” he said.