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In the wake of a recent push from Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds to enforce the College’s alcohol policy more uniformly, Pforzheimer House Committee canceled this weekend’s biannual “Pfoho Golf.”
The event violates the College’s alcohol policy—which Hammonds reiterated to House masters recently—according to Pforzheimer House Committee Co-Chair Graham M. Frankel ’12.
During Pfoho Golf, groups of students traveled to designated rooms throughout the House, each of which had its own themed “hole” and offered unique alcoholic drinks or nonalcoholic events like “Oreo Pong.”
The golf event did not meet the College’s requirement that College officials, like tutors, or a designated Student Event Services team check IDs for House sponsored events, according to the Pforzheimer House Masters.
Since the committee was not made aware of the policy until shortly before the event’s scheduled Saturday date, it was unable to ensure that Pfoho Golf met the requirements outlined in the College’s alcohol policy, Frankel said.
The news of the event’s cancellation set off a flurry of messages on the House’s open list last night.
In an email sent to the entire Pforzheimer House community, House Masters Nicholas A. Christakis and Erika L. Christakis ’86 wrote that an event like “Pfoho Golf” requires that no hard alcohol be served and necessitates the presence of a SES team—people responsible for checking IDs, mixing drinks, and supervising the distribution of alcohol. SES is the new term for what was previously referred to as a BAT team.
In their email, the Christakises expressed support for a “different sort of party” from Pfoho Golf.
Matthew S. Chuchul ’13, HoCo social chair, said that HoCo is “definitely looking into” an alternative type of party.
Many residents expressed dissatisfaction with the cancellation of the event.
“I think it’s an event that brings the House together,” said Chuchul, who is also an inactive Crimson editorial board editor.
Many residents of Pforzheimer said they were upset that the event had been canceled, saying that the main purpose of the event was not to drink, but rather to unite the House and allow them to meet other students.
According to Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesperson Jeff Neal, no changes have been made “to the long-standing College alcohol policy” and Hammonds’ reminder to House Masters was motivated by a desire to ensure that all College policies—not just those related to alcohol—be implemented uniformly throughout all 12 Houses.
Hammonds believes that the lack of consistency in enforcing College policies “only serves to undermine our commitment to provide the best environment for all students in the College,” wrote Neal.
Despite the cancellation of the Pforzheimer event, it remains to be seen how other Houses will react to this push to enforce the consistent application of College policy among Harvard’s often disjointed Houses.
Some Houses already have SES teams in place at their events and therefore will likely not have to make drastic changes to their Houses’ policies for major events that serve alcohol.
Mather House Committee Co-Chair Andrew F. Iannone ’12 said that having an SES force regulating alcohol would hurt the House’s happy hours.
“I think having that kind of outside force that’s mandated by the College feels like an intrusion,” he said.
—Stephanie B. Garlock contributed to the reporting of this article.
—Staff writer Monika L.S. Robbins can be reached at email@example.com.
—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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