Winthrop Masters Assail Alcoholic Fete

* Organizers of 'Debauchery Dance' criticized for promoting drinking

Winthrop House Masters Paul D. Hanson and Cynthia Rosenberger have responded angrily to an e-mail sent by the Winthrop House Committee late Monday night boasting that "liquor--lots of it" would be provided to those over 21 at its upcoming "Debauchery Dance."

In a message sent yesterday to all House residents, the masters wrote: "We were shocked and dumbfounded to receive a message describing a Winthrop House event in terms of 'drunken fits,' 'barnyard animals,' and 'liquor--lots of it.'"

The annual dance--which this year offers a box of condoms as a grand prize--traditionally has provided free alcohol to adults, House Committee President Ozeg Guzelsu '98 said last night.

But in the wake of the alcohol-related death last week of an MIT student, House officials apparently did not find the House Committee's advertisement amusing.

The House Committee e-mail message cited a "drunken spirit" that would float through the air, and "drunken fits," as one of the main themes of the dance.

After reading the message, Hanson and Rosenberger sent a reply yesterday to all House residents.

"The behavior implied is in clear violation of College-wide policy," they wrote. "It cannot be condoned in any House event. To drink alcohol to excess is to court serious injury and death."

The Winthrop Masters and the House Committee were scheduled have a dinner meeting last night to discuss the contents of House Committee's message.

Guzelsu said that the House Committee's message was intended to be humorous, although she added, people's concerns were understandable.

"Perhaps some College students might be offended," she said.

Guzelsu also admitted that in hindsight, the House Committee "should have given more concern" when writing the message.

According to Hanson, last night's meeting was geared toward "the opening up of an important discussion" with the House Committee students involved in organizing the dance.

"[We want to] learn from each others' thinking on the matter," he said.

Hanson also said he hoped to address the issue of student safety at the meeting, students and promote an inclusive party atmosphere at the House.

Guzelsu said students were eager to cooperate with the Masters.

"I don't want any antagonism," Guzelsu said, noting that she is would work with the Masters to plan the dance.

"I just want to sit down and work everything out," she added.

Hanson said that students involved in composing the e-mail simply had to be reminded of their responsibility and that he is not opposed to parties or students' need to "relax and have fun."

Some Winthrop House students echoed the concerns of the Masters, saying they were appalled by the House Committee's message.

"The [House Committee's] original message was in incredibly poor taste, especially sent out so soon after somebody died because they drank too much," said Winthrop resident Claire E. Alexander '98.

But others did not take the message as seriously.

Shirley K. Hung '00 said she found the message hilarious--funny enough to forward to many of her friends.

The "Debauchery Dance" is an annual event in which guests are given 10 tickets upon entry. Those who perform various dares throughout the night gain tickets. Whoever accumulates the most tickets at the end of the evening wins a prize