Adams House Makes‘Barely Legal’ Party Change Name

When the Latino Men’s Collective (LMC) and Fuerza Latina proposed a blacklight party in Adams dining hall, the Adams House administration was happy to play host. But when several Adams residents alerted administrators that the party was being publicized under the phrase of “Barely Legal,” House administrators promptly told the groups to cease and desist—or lose access to the dining hall.

Adams House Resident Dean Sharon L. Howell said that student concerns centered around the sexual suggestion contained in the phrase, “Barely Legal,” a colloquial descriptor for sexual partners just over the age of consent—particularly since the party was scheduled to take place during the upcoming prefrosh visiting weekend.

“Three or four students sent an e-mail, and several others approached the House masters,” Howell said. “We want them to have the party and to have fun, but they should have been more thoughtful considering the context.”

Fuerza Latina President Jessica D. Acosta ’10 defended the name, saying that they just wanted to use something that “would be catchy.”

“We didn’t intend to be offensive to females,” Acosta said.

LMC President Xavier DelRosario ’09 said the rationale behind the title was that it “is going to be so crazy it should be illegal.”

“But it was taken out of context,” he added. “The title wasn’t intended to imply statutory rape.”

Both the student groups and the House administrators said that the controversy was spurred by backlash on the Adams e-mail list, known as the Schmooze.

The hosts of the party, though, felt that they were not given an opportunity to explain the title before the decision was made to require them to take down all publicity.

“We had the meeting yesterday, and it was basically the administration talking down to us,” DelRosario said. “We didn’t get to give our side. It was ludicrous.”

Still, DelRosario admitted that the name of the party had not been mentioned in the application to book the Adams dining hall.

“We had no knowledge before we saw it advertised,” Howell said.