By Victor Xu
Full Moon on the Quad (FMOTQ), traditionally held on the first full moon of October, will instead take place this school year during winter quarter on Jan. 12, 2017, and the event will likely appear in a different form than in years past.
The decision comes at the recommendation of a working group that collaborated throughout the spring and summer to develop ideas for a “re-envisioned FMOTQ.”
The group consists of 10 students and 10 staff from key stakeholders including student government, Residential Education, the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE), the Office of Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Education and Response (SARA) and Student Activities and Leadership (SAL). The Junior Class Presidents will implement FMOTQ in consultation with an advisory committee made up of students and administrators that will convene in the coming weeks.
No changes to the event are set in stone, and the working group is still soliciting feedback from the student body to help determine what this year’s FMOTQ will look like. However, one major goal is to change an atmosphere that the group characterized as noninclusive and even “club-like.”
“Part of the transition will be deemphasizing that environment, focusing more on school spirit and community,” said Carley Flanery, director of SARA and co-chair of the FMOTQ working group. Flanery and fellow co-chair Snehal Naik, assistant dean and associate director of SAL, added that another focus will be increasing the number of options available to students who choose not to partake in kissing.
According to the FMOTQ working group, the event was rescheduled to winter quarter to provide new students a longer period of time to “familiarize themselves with campus social norms, to feel more confident and comfortable in social situations and to understand what a culture of consent is all about.” The group also cited concerns related to assault, alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct as the event has grown in “scope, practices and expectations” over its century-long history.
The rescheduling will be paired with new educational programs on consent culture this quarter. These will be offered by SARA and OAPE, among other organizations.
Last March, the University was strongly considering no longer supporting the Stanford tradition, which can trace its roots back to when the University accepted its inaugural class in 1891.
“Given recent conversations about sexual violence, the University has reaffirmed commitment to a culture rooted in mutual respect among all members,” read an email sent to the ASSU Undergraduate Senate by vice provost for student affairs Greg Boardman. “Faculty and staff have gotten increasingly concerned that Full Moon on the Quad is not aligned with our concerns.”
Thoughts on FMOTQ can be sent to the working group by email. Junior class president Catherine Goetze ’16 said that she is confident that FMOTQ can balance both its longstanding traditions and a welcoming culture.
“We are students first and foremost, and we love Full Moon as much as the next undergrad,” Goetze said. “We are very optimistic and hopeful that our peers will share their thoughts with us.”
The announcement from the working group is shown below.
Full Moon on the Quad Moved to Winter Quarter
As part of a continuing effort to reimagine one of Stanford’s longest standing traditions, Full Moon on the Quad (FMOTQ) has been moved from Fall to Winter Quarter. Contrary to rumors that the event has been canceled, Full Moon on the Quad will take place on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.
Rescheduling the event will give students, particularly freshmen, time to familiarize themselves with campus social norms, to feel more confident and comfortable in social situations, and to understand what a culture of consent is all about. The new date also will allow for student input to shape the implementation of FMOTQ.
The roots of FMOTQ date as far back as the late 19th century, when senior men welcomed freshman women to Stanford by gifting them a rose and a kiss. Over the years, however, the event grew much larger in scope, practices, and expectations, giving rise to concerns related to physical assault, alcohol abuse, and sexual misconduct. During the 2015-2016 school year, Stanford University administration notified students that it was seriously considering no longer supporting FMOTQ due to the event’s failure to align with the University’s values.
In order to find a solution in alignment with the university’s mission and values, and to honor the overwhelming student support of the Full Moon tradition, a representative working group of 10 students and 10 staff, cochaired by Snehal Naik, assistant dean and associate director of Student Activities and Leadership, and Carley Flanery, director of the Office of Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Education and Response (SARA), was invited to brainstorm potential changes that would address concerns about FMOTQ. The working group collaborated throughout the spring and summer to lay a foundation for a reenvisioned FMOTQ. The Junior Class Presidents will implement FMOTQ 2017 in consultation with an advisory committee made up of students and administrators that will convene in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, a number of programs will be offered this fall in an ongoing effort to educate students about consent culture and other issues. For instance, all new undergraduates will be required to participate in SAVE: Stanford AntiViolence Educators program, a sexuality, consent, and interpersonal violence prevention program developed by the SARA Office. The Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE), iThrive: Emotional WellBeing, the Women’s Coalition, and Residential Education are also offering related educational programs. Members of the original working group are confident that these new programs will equip students with a more comprehensive understanding of the expectations, standards, and values of the Stanford community.
“The University hopes that the reimagined FMOTQ will make all students feel welcome and comfortable at this event, while continuing to stand as a celebration of the wacky Stanford culture that makes The Farm a place that students feel proud to call home,” said Naik. “Through it all, FMOTQ will continue to embody the best of Stanford, old and new.”
Feedback and ideas are welcome at stanfordFMOTQ@gmail.com.
Geoffrey Angus, Junior Class President
Ibrahim Bharmal, Junior Class President
Catherine Goetze, Junior Class President
Peter Litzow, Junior Class President
Gabriela Nagle Alverio, Junior Class President
Kelsey Page, Junior Class President
Snehal Naik, Assistant Dean and Associate Director of Student Activities and Leadership
Carley Flanery, Director of the Office of Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Education and Response
Contact Victor Xu at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.