After months of research and many sleepless nights spent in computer clusters across campus, seniors can finally change out of their sweatpants and see the light of day.

Last night, seniors gathered to celebrate the culmination of their Yale careers with free beer at Rudy’s, a tradition that has been going on as long as bartender Ian Cassell can remember. In exchange for title pages, seniors get tickets for free beer.

“This beer was my motivation for the last three months,” Bailey Song ’01 said.

The traditional Rudy’s night is usually the night history majors’ essays are due, which would have been last Wednesday. But Cassell said they had to change it because several bands were playing at Rudy’s last week and there would have been too many people in the bar.

“We finished last Wednesday and we were bummed that it wasn’t ’til this week,” Anne Rippetoe ’01 said.

Nevertheless, seniors crowded into the smoky bar last night, enthusiastically greeting friends they hadn’t seen for weeks and comparing essay “grades.”

Posing as a doorman for the night, Cassell “failed me and told me I needed to get drunk after he read my title — too many -isms,” Emily Levine ’01 said.

The grades Cassell assigned to the titles ranged from the more typical “pass” and “fail” to the more original “not enough porn” and “BS.” Students hung the pages on clotheslines throughout the bar.

Many students bring their actual title pages, while others vie to create the most interesting title.

Real titles included “Materialized Glory: Artists and a New Concept of Glory in Renaissance Florence” and “Between Legislation and Liberty: The Political and Social Context of the Dietary Supplement Industry,” whose author, Michael Murawczyk ’01, said, “I was so proud of my title, I kept it.”

More creative titles ranged from Cassell’s favorite, “I like beer or, why I’ll fake a senior essay on an oddly shaped piece of poster board,” to “Anal Indecision, or, Irony as an Object: How Samuel Beckett’s ‘Other’ Mouth Screams No When It Means Yes, Yes, YES!” Other creative ones were “Yale: Ivy League or I.V. League?” and “Psychological Principles Underlying Bob’s Discount Furniture Advertisements,” which earned an A-plus.

Cassell said he doesn’t try to judge whether the titles are real or if the patrons are seniors or even Yale students.

“Judging by the titles, I don’t think any of them are real, but creativity is key,” Cassell said. “I assume most of them are students. I don’t really know. I’m not a Yale professor and I don’t care too much.”

While several seniors mused that finishing their essays was anticlimactic or that they only went to Rudy’s out of tradition, others had been celebrating for days.

“Today was the first day I started doing work since last Wednesday,” Beth Greene ’01 said. “I’ve just been drunk for five days straight.”

But Peter Kok ’01 seemed to represent the sentiment of the majority of the crowd.

“There’s nothing better than free beer when you finish an essay,” Kok said.

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