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Students pucker up tonight at Full Moon on the Quad

(ANASTASIA YEE/The Stanford Daily)

Full Moon on the Quad, Stanford’s famous kissing tradition, was axed last year because of worries about swine flu, or the H1N1 virus. But the event, which the sophomore class cabinet hosts, is making a comeback.

With two classes facing the event for the first time, the stakes are higher than usual, but sophomore class president Steven Greitzer sees the situation as an opportunity for a fresh start.

“One of our big goals for this year was to bring back the classiness of the night,”Greitzer said. “Back in the beginning of the early Full Moon tradition, the event was actually a very classy and legitimate event.”

The tradition dates back to the late 1800s, when senior men and freshman women would queue up in opposing lines to share a kiss and a rose under the first full moon of the year. The rite of passage evolved over the years into a less-structured event where a crowd gathers around midnight to see performances, crowd-watch and, for some, make out with one or many fellow attendees.

Greitzer recognized that the event’s demure origins wouldn’t suit the current Stanford culture but said the sophomore cabinet is taking steps to at least bring a sense of structure to Full Moon. One of those steps is splitting the event in two — first with a big concert from popular mash-up DJs Super Mash Bros in Old Union, then a shift to the Quad for the main affair.

“In past years, it’s just been a kind of chaotic make-out session, but what we’ve been trying to do with the Super Mash Bros concert and the very structured night is to kind of bring back the legitimacy of the night and make it more organized chaos,” Greitzer said.

Despite reduced funding due to recent budget cuts, Greitzer insists the cabinet has been able to do more than what has been done in the past by spending carefully. By splitting the cost with the Stanford Concert Network, organizers could bring a bigger headliner like Super Mash Bros instead of the usual small student band.

Along with the customary mouthwash, mints and refreshments, roses will also be provided — a throwback to Full Moon’s origins. In an effort to regulate the safety of Full Moon, the sophomore cabinet enlisted 50 “sober monitors” as well as administrators and the Department of Public Safety to provide security. All entrances to the Quad will be carefully regulated and students are required to show a Stanford ID to enter, organizers said.

Another sophomore class president, Maxine Litre, emphasized the no-camera rule, citing a need for “mutual respect for each other in the Quad.” Greitzer and Litre also boast a few more surprises that will most likely occur between 11 p.m. and midnight but remained mum on the details.

“We have a couple surprises for the night that will bring back a little of the class,” Greitzer said.

As for health precautions, Greitzer said he wasn’t going to worry too much without the fear of swine flu.

“We’re definitely taking as many precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at the event,” Greitzer said. “We will have a health and wellness area set up. We’ll also have our sober monitors ready to go to help anyone out in need.”

Sophomore cabinet teamed up with other student organizations to put on the event. One such group is the Stanford Sexual Health Peer Resource Center. SHPRC will have a table in the Quad with condoms, dildos, trivia and other supplies to raise sexual-health awareness.

“My hope is that if someone meets a special someone at Full Moon that they would be able to come to us for resources and be safe during that,” said SHPRC co-director Ellie Green ’11.