Trolley Night to restrict attendance, move back to Calhoun

In 2008, Trolley Night took place in Commons.
In 2008, Trolley Night took place in Commons. Photo by Urvi Nopany.

Students not in Calhoun may run into a red light when trying to get into Trolley Night on Friday.

To save money, the Calhoun College Council has decided to hold the 50-year-old party in the college itself, instead of in Commons as it did last year. The last time Trolley Night was held in Calhoun, in fall 2007, the crush of people excluded some Hounies from their own party, Calhoun College Council co-chair Tariq Mahmoud ’11 said. So to prevent the same massive crowds and resulting fire code violation, only Hounies and two guests will be allowed in on Friday.

Unlike in past years, though, tickets will be free.

“We did a cost benefit-analysis and decided that by foregoing holding [Trolley Night] in Commons we’d be able to fit two to three smaller parties [during the year], one of which would be Trolley Night in Calhoun,” Mahmoud said.

Calhoun students interviewed had differing opinions on the stoplight party’s newfound exclusivity. Adela Jaffe ’13, a Hounie, said she understands the budgetary concerns and thinks that since every Calhoun student is allowed to bring two guests, the restriction will not make a big difference for attendance.

Shweta Johri ’13, who is in Calhoun, said she thinks that, in theory, a more intimate Trolley Night could be nice. But the two-guest stipulation, she said, will ensure that “everyone will eventually be there.”

Other students, such as Charlie Polinger ’13, who is also in Calhoun, said that restricting entry to the event will make Trolley Night just like another residential college screw.

“I feel that since it’s in the dining hall, which is huge, we should allow everyone to come,” Polinger said.

Four students interviewed from other colleges said they are unhappy with the Calhoun College Council’s decision. Sania Tildon ’12, of Branford, said she thinks the old Trolley Night brought undergraduates together. But last year, she said, Calhoun students received discounted tickets, and so she is not surprised by the new development.

Still, other residential colleges said they will not be following Calhoun’s lead.

The Ezra Stiles and Morse College Councils will be spending more money than last year to improve Prohibition and increase turnout, Ezra Stiles College Council chair Justin Lowenthal ’11 said.

Not only will the location be different this year — in the new Morse courtyard rather than Commons — but ticket prices will be lower and there will be an open bar for those over the age of 21, Lowenthal said.

Branford College Council also has no plans to downsize its annual ’90s-themed dance party, BCC Chair Mike Boyce ’11 said. Branford holds several Branford-only events throughout the year, and wants to keep the ’90s party a campuswide event, Boyce said. Because funding for the ’90s party comes from the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee via the Sophomore Class Council, making the party Branford-exclusive might cost Branford the funding, he explained.

“My philosophy is that good parties will get big no matter what, so to limit artificially just makes it a bad party,” Boyce said.

Silliman College Council also does not intend to shrink its legendary Safety Dance in October, Silliman College Council chair Jesse Lee Hassinger ’11 said.

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