While Raymond Carlson’s article “feb club: 28 days of official fun?” (2/8) was, for the most part, factually correct, I do believe that there are several valid points that should be readdressed.
The description of opening night (however accurate for the time that Raymond Carlson was allowed to enjoy the festivities) fails to describe the jubilant mentality of all who flooded the doors of 174 Park Street until well past 2 a.m. It should be noted that the “conflict” in the schedule of the evening was due to false advertising by an individual on the Senior Class Council, Tiffany Pham, who is not a member of Feb Club. Pham e-mailed the entire senior class an inaccurate message that called the SCC-organized Hot Tomato’s Event the “Feb Club Kickoff party”. As a result, there was much confusion which might have appeared as an “organizational hiccup” on our part, but, upon further inspection, was clearly not.
Secondly, though Pham approached Jessica Kimball ’08 and me to assist her with the publicity of the SCC event, we were chosen to work in Feb Club Headquarters independently of our affiliation with the SCC, and we did not, as Carlson stated, “borrow ideas from our service on the SCC.” Likewise, any evaluation of Feb Club should not be considered “indicative of all the SCC” as the article leads readers to believe.
This confusion led many Feb Club members to go to Hot Tomato’s, only to find themselves paying for drinks on top of the $29 already paid for entrance into the entire month’s worth of Feb Club parties.
In addition, the decision to have non-hosting seniors pay came in response to concerns about finding suitable venues for the Feb Club parties. Furthermore, the point of payment was so that those seniors who agreed to host would feel that non-hosters had contributed just as much to Feb Club as they had. While Carlson did mention that seniors had the option of assisting hosts instead of paying, I feel that this point was sorely underplayed, and its mention implied that there were indeed seniors who were deterred from participating in Feb Club based on purely financial reasons — clearly not the case.
The spontaneity of former Feb Clubs and grass-roots organization that Carlson attributes to them has indeed changed. However, I find it incredibly difficult to believe that, during a time without cell phones, parties were sparked randomly every night — there is no way to get word to such a large number of people on a daily bases without some level of organization.
I would also like to respond to those concerned about exclusivity. Feb Club is currently servicing between 550 and 600 seniors, which is more than 40 percent of the entire class. Feb Club organizers initially invited the whole class to partake, and those people who responded were accommodated. I am not denying that, perchance, some people did “slip through the cracks,” but if such oversight did occur, it was indeed a rarity and not the norm. While inevitably there will be those who are upset about their exclusion from the group, it would appear from this angst that Feb Club parties are indeed something of which most people want to be a part.
As for the exclusion of underclassmen, I have no apology to offer. The decision was made before Feb Club 2008 in order to minimize attention from the Yale administration. However, it is interesting to note that, as the parties have continued, they have become self-regulating. There are indeed underclassmen that have been allowed into Feb Club parties — we are not the bureaucratic business runners that the article would lead others to believe. Yet these underclassmen have stated themselves that they felt out of place at the parties.
Lastly, I would personally like to apologize to seniors who feel that they have been slighted by a system that has otherwise been incredibly efficient and inclusive of a large portion of the class. To those who find themselves not receiving e-mail updates about party locations, I apologize. I have no doubt that you, as a party-hopping senior, will make the most of your last February on campus, and I look forward very much to dancing the night away at the many events that will be held on our behalf.
Angel Enriquez is a senior in Silliman College. She is a Feb Club coordinator.