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‘Bauch’ Bucks in Hand, Winthrop Gets Dirty

‘Debauchery’ dance, banned in 2001, to return Saturday

By Pedro V. Moura, Crimson Staff Writer

Winthrop House’s notorious “Debauchery” dance, known for “gratuitous displays of flesh, excessive gyrations of...pelvises and inappropriate employment of...oral cavities,” according to a former Winthrop house master, will make a comeback this weekend.

Though it was banned in 2001, the dance will re-emerge in a somewhat less raunchy format after months of planning by the Winthrop House Committee’s “BauchCom.”

As in years past, dance-goers will be given “Bauch Bucks,” which can be used to make “propositions” to other partyers. The goal is to collect as many Bauch Bucks as possible.

According to the website created to promote the dance, www.winthropdebauchery.com, there will be many ‘props’ available at the party to aid with the propositioning, such as whipped cream, jello shots, and chocolate.

The website suggests that students “get creative.”

Former Winthrop House Master Paul D. Hanson, who was involved in the decision to ban the dance four years ago, said back in 2001 that one of the reasons the dance was banned was an unwillingness to put women in a “compromising” situation.

He told The Crimson in 2001 that students “engaged in gratuitous displays of flesh, excessive gyrations of their pelvises and inappropriate employment of their oral cavities” at “Debauchery.”

Winthrop House Master Stephen P. Rosen wrote in an e-mail yesterday that the event was banned in 2001 because of safety risks associated with “overcrowding.”

But this year, Winthrop House Committee (HoCo) co-President Michael J. Robin ’08 said the committee took measures to ensure that the dance would be fun and safe.

A “squat” team, comprised of members of Winthrop HoCo, will be monitoring the dance for any non-consensual activity, according to Robin.

“In terms of restrictions on what people can do, that is at the discretion of the squat team,” Robin said.

He added that free condoms would be available for use after the dance.

BauchCom member David S. Jewett ’08 wrote in an e-mail that the committee was in contact with the house masters, senior tutors, tutors and administrators to “make sure that everything will happen smoothly and safely.”

“There was a lot of discussion involved before this dance was approved, especially with the tutors,” said Winthrop Assistant Senior Tutor Michael C. Ranen.

Party-goers who get out of hand or clash with authority at the dance will be ejected with the aid of water cannons, said Jewett.

In addition to the squat team, teams of four Winthrop resident tutors will monitor the dance in hourly shifts and two Harvard University Police Department officers will be present the whole time, Ranen said.

“The House Master wanted to make sure that if it was going to happen, there wasn’t going to be an unruly crowd,” Ranen said.

—Staff writer Pedro V. Moura can be reached at pmoura@fas.harvard.edu.

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