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Bus incidents spoil senior night

Following two separate vomiting incidents on buses after senior night festivities, the senior class presidents have warned fellow seniors that there is little toleration for such conduct during the Thursday night tradition.

According to Ralph Castro, manager for Health Promotion Services, at least two students became sick on bus rides since the start of winter quarter, in addition to two previous incidents last quarter. Castro said the individual responsible for the most recent incident last week has not yet come forward.

Each time a student vomits on a Marguerite, the senior class incurs a $500 cleaning cost charge. This especially becomes an issue when an individual does not claim responsibility, according to Castro, as the fine must be paid out of the class’ budget.

On Wednesday, the senior class presidents sent out an e-mail to peers detailing their concerns for senior night.

“In light of the budgetary constraints we have this year, it’s hard to justify spending University funds on senior nights when many departments and communities face budget cuts,” the e-mail read. “We want our behavior to represent our class as positively as possible, and show that we can have a good time while still being respectful and understanding that this is a privilege.”

Castro echoed this sentiment, explaining that it is difficult for the class to pay for other events in addition to senior nights when there is not much funding available to begin with. The budget currently allocated for pub night covers transportation fees as well as some security for students as they board the buses.

Castro said that bus sickness has happened enough to “make a dent in the budget.”

“It’s a recurring problem that we have,” Castro said. “Once an e-mail goes out about what the spirit of senior night is supposed to be, it usually stops.”

Shanna Cook ’10 said that by senior year, students should be fully aware of their limits.

“I was on a bus fall quarter when someone vomited and it was really nasty,” Cook said. “When we got off the bus all of my friends and I were really [upset] because we thought that would be the last pub night. I’m glad the senior cabinet hasn’t cancelled them—like they have actually threatened to do.”

The e-mail addressed to the senior class mentioned that while winter quarter pub nights were canceled last year because of similar incidents, there are no plans to do so this year. Instead, trash bags will be provided as a “last resort” for students who feel sick.

“There’s really no change, the e-mail is just reiterating policies and expectations for senior nights,” Castro said. “It doesn’t mean its okay for people to think, ‘well having a bag means its okay to throw up.’

“But, at least someone can have the dignity of a bag instead of getting sick all over the floor,” he added.

Seniors are required to sign contracts at the beginning of the year prior to attending to pub nights and part of the security’s job is to insure that students that appear overly intoxicated do not board the bus. Castro said part of the problem is when non-seniors attend these events without signing waivers.

“One of the other issues is the problems that arise when people that aren’t seniors come as well; now that a lot of juniors are coming of age they will go to venue and then they’re wanting rides back on the bus,” Castro explained. “They haven’t signed [a] contract for collective responsibility.

“We will not deny rides, but people need to understand that you need to abide by all the terms and conditions, even if you’re junior, he added. “If you get sick on the bus you still need to pay the fine.”

Cook mentioned that students “pre-gaming” pub night have been a potential cause for this quarter’s bus incidents.

“I’m pretty sure that people are drinking more and going all out for pub night this year because there really is nothing to do on campus anymore,” she said. “The weekend party scene has gotten really bad and there is nothing to do on the weekends, so seniors are now making Thursday the new Friday and Saturday night.”

Both Castro and the class presidents encouraged moderation. Castro said friends should also help each other out by watching the pace of alcohol intake or calling cabs for rides home.