MIT is not permitting events between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. during this year’s Campus Preview Weekend.
The policy will be enforced in order to bring CPW into compliance with Institute policy, which states that all campus events must end by 1 a.m. Exceptions may be granted by the CPW Events Review Committee “if there is a compelling reason the event cannot be held prior to 1 [a.m.].”
Dean for Undergraduate Education Dennis M. Freeman was behind the change, Assistant Director of Admissions Katie A. Kelley said in an email to the Dormitory Council. Freeman referred The Tech to Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill ’86.
“Given that we are hosting about a thousand high schools students on our campus, ending formal events at 1 a.m. seems like the right thing to do,” Schmill said. “I do not think the pre-frosh perception of MIT or of CPW will change.”
Institute policy has prohibited events after 1 a.m. since the 1990s, but due to a lack of communication between the Student Activities Office (SAO) and the CPW Events Review Committee, the committee has inadvertently ignored the ban and approved events at all hours in previous years.
Eli H. Ross ’14 wrote that the administration had planned on enforcing the policy last year during his tenure as DormCon president, but ultimately did not. Describing what happened last year, he said that “the policy choice was made and then simply relayed to relevant groups.” Students argued that they were told about the ban too late to adjust their programming, so the ban was not enforced.
The administration also agreed to allow MIT students to serve on the CPW Advisory Committee, which had previously only consisted of MIT staff.
Many students are not in favor of this year’s ban.
Senior House President Adrianna Rodriguez ’16 said she would prefer that the ban extend from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“I think that would be a bit more reasonable and more reflective of what our schedules are actually like, at least for a good number of Senior House residents,” she said, adding that any night-time ban “leaves out a large portion of the MIT community that is actually nocturnal.”
Only G@MIT’s event “Super Secret Queer Time” has been granted an exception to take place after 1 a.m. According to Schmill, G@MIT argued that students needed a time outside the window of other events in order to feel comfortable attending.
A number of other events applied for exceptions, such as Firehose, Pinkie’s Diner, and MacSimNext Ultimate, but all were denied. The criteria used to determine which events receive an exception remain undisclosed.
Next House President Haley Hurowitz ’16 said: “The policy has changed the events Next House traditionally holds. The 1 [a.m.] rule means we cannot hold events as late.”
“CPW can be incredibly overwhelming,” she said. “I felt that pressure when I was a prefrosh. Although many prefrosh will probably find ‘after hours’ events or continue to hang out with others, I do feel like a sizable number will just go to bed early and miss that MIT experience. However, what convinced me to come to MIT was not the first two nights when I went to bed relatively early, but the last one when I stayed up till 8 a.m. talking to people I’m still friends with today.”
Gaurav J. Singh ’15, the Undergraduate Association’s CPW Representative, believes that the policy will diminish the spirit of CPW for prefrosh who are awake late at night. “Prefrosh who are awake may experience difficulty finding something to do after 1 [a.m.],” he said.
“[M]any prefrosh will have a harder time finding available MIT students to talk to. I think the policy falsely gives the impression that MIT student life ends at 1 [a.m.].”