Last year was my first experience with Spring Fling. I had stayed up all night writing a paper the night before, and around 5 a.m. I was talking to people who were leaving my building to go out and drink. Yes, drinking at 5 o’clock in the morning.
It’s not like Temple doesn’t realize most students see Spring Fling as an excuse to spend the day completely trashed. Cops are everywhere. There are more guards in residence halls than ever. Bags are thoroughly checked with no exceptions. Security guards are not allowed to be lenient in any capacity. If the temperature is 120 degrees, oh well; there is still no way you’re walking in with an open water bottle. This is a day not to trust anyone! ‘Well, you may have had vodka in that bottle every single day, but it only matters today,’ is basically what is being said.
I personally did not have an incident with a water bottle, but I did have a different scenario that was quite ridiculous. Last year, while living in Peabody Hall, I often returned from dinner at the Johnson and Hardwick cafeteria with a cup of ice cream. Not once had anything been said. But on the day of Spring Fling, the security guard said, “No you can’t come in here with that!” Because it was Spring Fling, obviously I must have decided to pour some alcohol down at the bottom of the cup. Or better yet, the security guard was probably assuming that, in honor of this special event, I had made sure to freeze a full cup of Bacardi, trying to pass it off as ice cream.
Last year, Spring Fling was held on a Tuesday. Tuesday and Thursday have always been my busiest days. Last year, my Tuesdays consisted of more than six hours of classes. After staying up all night, maybe I was just angry trying to get to all of my classes on the packed Liacouras Walk. Not only was it mobbed, but mobbed with drunks. Most people didn’t bother to go to class that day, so I guess I was not only a loser, but also a loner. And of those people who did attend class, not many of them could walk a straight line.
Ultimately, Temple should be criticized the most for holding this event. Sure, Spring Fling may be good for some of the campus organizations, but for the majority of students, it’s all about drinking.
By assuming students are trying to sneak alcohol into residence halls on this day, this shows that the university is fully aware this is a day for binge drinking. The tremendous number of cops on campus is also evidence that Temple knows what’s going on. The school’s decision to continue to participate in this occasion is contradictory of its own behavioral policy.
The definition I came up with last year for Spring Fling was “propaganda promoting underage drinking and the skipping of classes.” As much as I stand by this, I realize that maybe this higher institution of learning is teaching students at least one thing with this pitiful event – how to get drunk before 6 o’clock in the morning.
Jeff Appelblatt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.