Not so ‘NEW’ College: The Wall, defined

During the past semester at New College, much discussion was held between the administration and student government over what constitutes an event, a wall, and when students are allowed to congregate. As it turns out, this is not a new debate, and little has changed over the past several decades.

In the minutes of a Towne Meeting from March 14, 1986, students debated what defines a wall and how to govern them. And although the tradition of a wall has been held for decades, the definition of one has clearly changed, as the description provided by the minutes is quite different from current depictions of walls. “A wall is an impromptu gathering of people, money is not collected beforehand, non-New College students are not invited, and personal stereo equipment is used,” the minutes read.

Virtually none of those statements are true today – wall sign-ups, held at the beginning of the semester, determine the schedule for walls for the entire semester. Themes are planned beforehand, non-New College students are allowed to attend, and large loudspeakers from the Equipment TAs are used for all walls, in conjunction with the TAs.

The same rules apply for noise complaints today, however: “Noise complaints should follow this order,” the minutes read. “1. Make a complaint at the source. 2. If necessary talk to an RA. 3. If nothing is accomplished, call University Police.”

The rest of the minutes are charmingly familiar to New College students: students agreed to move the bike racks back in front of Hamilton Center (where they currently are today), students were allowed to park in front of Palm Court temporarily, and a student proposed that all Towne Meetings be held in the Palm Court from then on.

The Towne Meeting also addressed issues of underage drinkers during walls, both New College students and otherwise. The issues are familiar, and New College is cyclical: nothing changes.


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