Ryan Chiao, Senior Photographer

Gnomecoming, Davenport College’s annual formal dance, came to an abrupt halt on Friday evening following the discovery of prohibited alcoholic beverages and underage drinking at the venue. 

This year’s Gnomecoming, which took place at the 80 Proof American Kitchen & Bar, divided attendees into two cohorts. First years and sophomores were invited to stay from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and juniors and seniors were asked to attend between 11:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. 

The first cohort arrived on time, donning feather boas and 1920s dresses in keeping with the formal’s “Moulin Rouge” theme.  But at 11:32 p.m., Davenport students received an email from Co-President of the Davenport College Council Patrick Chappel ’24. In the email, which has been obtained by the News, Chappel asked juniors and seniors to “hold off” on coming to the venue at their designated slot time.

Nine minutes later, Chappel sent another email, with the subject line, “This one hurts.” 

“It is with literally the greatest regret that I let you know that Gnomecoming is canceled,” Chappel wrote in the two-sentence email. “To the individuals who snuck alcohol in and exhibited the most ungnomelike behavior… that was so not a slay.” 

Meanwhile, first years and sophomores were ushered out by the DCC and venue staff. No upperclassmen were allowed inside afterwards.

Warrington said there “was a lot of screaming and commotion” as staff cleared students from the venue, adding that it would have been helpful for someone to confirm that the event’s cancellation had not been a joke. 

“The whole situation could have been managed better… the instructions could have been clearer,” said Sunniva Warrington ’25

The process for gaining alcoholic drinks at the formal was as follows: students showed their IDs at the entrance and then were given different wristbands. Students over 21 years of age received two drink tickets that could be exchanged at the bar for alcoholic drinks.

Friday night reflected an “irresponsibility” on various fronts, according to both Warrington and Kayla Wong ’25. They emphasized the importance of “trust” when it comes to alcohol consumption at campus events — both among students and between students and the event hosts. They added that they hope that the same mistake does not repeat itself for future recreational events hosted by the University.

Warrington added that it might have been more productive to remove only the individuals involved in the alleged alcohol smuggling, though she understood that the venue could have demanded the cancellation.

Wong said she felt “disappoint[ed]” and “frustrat[ed]” that many students, especially juniors and seniors, were not able to enjoy their night as planned, adding that she looks forward to receiving a refund or a replacement formal. She called for greater transparency in communication between Davenport leadership and formal attendees.

“DCC has been working to plan this [Gnomecoming] since August, and we were all looking forward to this event,” read a statement that Ella Martinez ‘25, another organizer of the event, wrote on behalf of DCC. “We are incredibly upset that the behavior exhibited at Gnomecoming by certain individuals led to the venue canceling. We are disappointed on behalf of juniors and seniors who missed out on this event, and we are committed to making it up to them in the spring.”

The 80 Proof American Kitchen & Bar is located at 196 Crown St.

BRIAN ZHANG
Brian Zhang covers student life for the University desk, and previously housing and homelessness for the City desk. He is a sophomore in Davenport College.