Exotic Erotic can add another E to its name: Extinct.
In a formal statement to the Yale Daily News Wednesday, Timothy Dwight Master Robert Thompson confirmed rumors that the famed TD dance — with the slogan “the less you wear, the less you pay” — will not be returning after last year’s hiatus. In announcing his decision to end the event, Thompson cited the excessive attendance, alcohol poisonings, and damage to college property that have characterized the dance in the past.
“I have backed my excellent SAC committees each year when they put on the annual Exotic Erotic,” Thompson said in the statement. “I and Dean Loge watched in dismay, however, as the party got bigger and bigger, to the point where last time [fall of 2000] more than 4,000 were crowded in our courtyard.”
Student safety and property concerns were also key issues in the decision, Thompson said.
“We watched the number of hospitalizations of alcohol poisoned students rise from one in the early 1990s to 10 at the last one,” he said. “The number of break-ins by drunks intent on avoiding the tariff at the door also mounted alarmingly. The damage to TD lawns and public spaces got worse and worse.”
Timothy Dwight did not hold Exotic Erotic last year because the college was undergoing renovations. Now that TDers have returned to their digs, Thompson said he is eager to preserve the college’s current physical standards.
“A master and dean would have to be irresponsible to continue to sponsor a happening that routinely brings ambulance vans to the front of the college and battalions of police,” Thompson said.
But he added the college would not be festivity free. TD will, Master Thompson said, “continue to party.”
Timothy Dwight Dean John Loge said there would, in fact, be an alternative — clothed — celebration later this fall in honor of TD’s completed renovations.
“TD will invent another party we can enjoy without danger or damage to anyone,” Loge said.
Timothy Dwight’s Jessica Zachary ’03, who went to Exotic Erotic as a sophomore, said she understood why Master Thompson would want to keep the newly-renovated college in its current state. But she added that the party’s demise was a letdown that might not be necessary.
“[The cancellation is] unfortunate. It was a really fun tradition,” Zachary said.
Zachary added that she didn’t think there would be much campus interest in that kind of a party. She also suggested Exotic Erotic might be resurrected and controlled if held in a venue more accommodating in size.
Harvard sophomore Erika Larson, who said she considered applying to Yale in part because of the notorious party, said she was disappointed that Exotic Erotic had been permanently cancelled.
“I know it’s not the only reason people come [to Yale]. But it sounded like fun,” Larson said. “That’s such a shame.”