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BUZZKILL: Students Gamble With Tuition

McDonald: Attending Monte Carlo Means Taking a Gamble 

By Sarah Wallace

Hand over Fist: Students gamble away their tuition money at Kalamazoo College’s Annual Monte Carlo event. One student remarked “It’s my money, I’ll use it when I need it.”

At 6:00 A.M., the Monday morning before the College’s yearly Monte Carlo event, masses of upset Kalamazoo students and parents crowded outside of the President’s Office. Their enraged outcries and snowball throwing were a result of the recent announcement about next year’s rise in tuition costs. The riot has spurred action in acting President Mickey McDonald.

It was the President’s solution to the infuriating emails and letters to announce that Monte Carlo will now be an opportunity for students to gamble real money to pay off their tuition.

The solution was one that President McDonald had been discussing with faculty and administrative staff since the beginning of his service as President.

Monte Carlo is already a well-attended event, yet President McDonald predicts that even more students will be eager to come and gamble. She understands that gambling can be a cathartic experience.

“Just like there is an alcoholic in all of us, there is a gambler in all of us, too,” said the President. “And I think it is one of the College’s duty’s to satisfy this primal desire.”

On the night of Monte Carlo, the Hicks Center will take on the atmosphere of a true casino. New games will be added, and will include Wheel of Fortune, Keno, Roulette and Craps. The student ID will soon become the student’s most valuable item.

The student ID will be programmed to include all of the student’s financial information. At each casino game, there will be an electronic card swiper. This device will record the amount of money that has been lost or earned. Each student will start with the tuition amount they have paid off that year, in the hopes of paying off next year’s tuition.

This means the student card will take on a new worth. It will become like a laundry card in the way that if you lose it, it cannot be replaced, and all of the money on it, too, will be erased.

The President advises that students do not attend the event drunk, for the possibility that drunken college students will not be smart gamblers.

Students will be gambling at their own risk and could end up owing the College more than their original tuition.

Reflections on Racism

Be Light or Be Disguised?

By Marquise Griffin

This past Saturday night, around 1000 members of the Kalamazoo College community crowded into Hicks for the annual Monte Carlo dance. This year’s Monte Carlo’s theme was Masquerade, a theme I think is very appropriate for us as Kalamazoo College students. In a sense, Monte Carlo, as a whole, is one large charade. During the event, participants were given $50,000 in “Monte Dollars” to be used to gamble in the casino games and activities.

It was a fun event because it allowed everyone a time to escape from real life into a world of fantasy where you could eat unusual food, dance to good music, and gamble away all your money if you wished without any repercussions.

The idea of a masquerade is to attend an event dressed extravagantly while hiding one’s identity. This allows a person to momentarily assume a different persona; to pretend to be someone they’re not, or perhaps, that they wish to be.

So how does this theme relate to us? In a way, we go through our daily lives wearing masks, putting on a masquerade. We present a self that’s socially acceptable, a self that our friends and teachers approve of.  We rarely present the real self because we worry about the consequences. And it is in this way that many of the injustices and inequalities of our society go unaddressed and unresolved.

It’s been my experience when talking in a large group setting about racism that many people share what they believe to be the “politically correct” opinion. They don’t share what they really think out of fear of saying something offensive and sparking outrage. In other words, when it comes to discussing and addressing racism, people usually put on masks.

So how do we get past this? One of my favorite words of wisdom comes from the Book of Proverbs: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I believe when someone takes off their mask and briefly shows what they really think, we should not respond with anger and indignation. Doing so only serves to reinforce the masquerade that everyone is on the same page, when we all know we really aren’t. We should respond with calmness and work to change each other opinions, to enlighten one another’s minds. So let’s take off our disguises and be light.

Taking a Gamble

Monte Carlo Returns to Hicks

By Justina Kilumelume

After being held off campus for the past two years, Monte Carlo returns to Hicks Student Center.

Monte Carlo is one of the largest annual events at Kalamazoo College. It is a night filled with casino games staffed by professors and staff, food, and games and prizes.

The Office of Student Involvement (OSI) along with the help of many community members have managed to bring it back to campus due to students demand. The Student Activities Committee (SAC) hosts the event each year and did much of the planning.

Many students, as well as even staff are excited about this change.

“We are so excited to have it back in Hicks. It’s close to campus, which means we won’t have transportation problems, and we will have a lot of control on the decorations and what the overall event looks like,” said Madeleine Aborn, senior and Vice President of SAC.

The Monte Carlo event that was held on campus in 2011 had the highest attendance ever, with a record-breaking number of 1023 people. The number of people allowed in Hicks for any event is 999, which includes those staffing the event such as students, faculty and staff, dining service employees, and security.

Because of fire code regulations, OSI has been working hand in hand with several different departments to help bring the event back to campus this year by ensuring that Hicks is safe for the event. There are many specifics regarding safety laws from the Fire Marshal to ensure that Hicks is safe for the event.

OSI and SAC had to submit a proposal to the Fire Marshal to prove that the event could safely take place on campus.

“Part of the proposal included a building layout to demonstrate that we would use every square inch of the building for event space. We also had to include a safety plan showing the different ways we would manage the crowd and the number of people in the event,” said Kate Yancho, the Assistant Director of Student Involvement.

The layout of the event will enable the space in Hicks to be used effectively while adhering to the fire code. No pathways, stairways or exits will be blocked in any way, and attendees will be spread out all over Hicks, instead of being concentrated in one area. OSI and SAC have been working nonstop in preparation for the event.

“We have a lot of people who’ve volunteered to work and help out during the event; Stucomm and OSI have been very helpful in that area. It’s humbling to see how most of the College community are willing to help make this event successful,” said Caitlyn Smith, senior and President of SAC.

All the executive members of SAC and student volunteers have been trained as student event managers who will ensure the fire code and safety laws are being enforced during the event. Monte Carlo is an event funded by the Student Activities Fee, therefore OSI is doing everything they can to accommodate everyone and make it a fun event.  “We are trying to make the event accessible to many students as possible, including their guests,” said Yancho.

Students can register for Monte Carlo by going to the Student Development Suite from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm until Friday and is on a first come, first served basis. SAC will also be tabling by the Game Room on Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Students can register their guests starting on Thursday.