Traditionally, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Fairfield students have come together at Lantern Point for Sham Jam, a play off of the popular University event Clam Jam. Due to trouble in the past with the police and complaints from residents at Fairfield Beach, this year, Sham Jam will be held at The SeaGrape, both indoors and outdoors. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., seniors will have the chance to celebrate a twist on one of the longest lasting traditions on the beach.
Fairfield Beach Resident Organization President Sean Tobin ‘17 believes that holding Sham Jam at the Grape would be the best way to go about holding the event without retaliation from the townspeople and police.
“Any party that isn’t spur of the moment is quickly shut down by the town,” said Tobin.
According to a Mirror article from last year, students were warned by a University email that police officers and security would be at Sham Jam. In an effort to be able to celebrate with minimal security restrictions, students hosted a makeshift Sham Jam on the Point the day before the scheduled event. Residents on the Point and the beach also celebrated on its original date.
“The University will coordinate with Fairfield Police to hire officers to ensure the community is not impacted by the event and laws are enforced. This includes preventing any illegal or unsafe crowds or activities from occurring in the private, residential neighborhoods at the beach,” said Dean of Students Karen Donoghue ‘03.
Rather than be a party during the day, as students here frequently refer to as a “darty,” it will be a ticketed event. Seniors will be given priority and 600 tickets will be available. Those who want to purchase tickets will be able to on the evening of March 3.
According to Tobin, there will be an open bar inside and an eight-tap Bud Light Truck in the parking lot, along with corned beef sandwiches being served outside. There will also be live entertainment at the event as well. New York routed Irish rock band, the Narrowbacks will be headlining.
“Nothing like this has even been done through BRO, but given the obstacles that have been thrown at us this year, it should be an awesome alternative,” said Tobin.
Back in October, BRO tried to hold Oktoberfest at Lund Court, its usual location, until the property manager told them to hold it somewhere else. They tried to host the event at the Point, but G-Force was hired to stop the event from happening.
“After this and last year’s Sham Jam, we needed to make sure that Sham Jam  would be a success,” said Tobin
Despite the change in location, seniors are excited for this year’s event and venue.
“I am excited about it, but sad it won’t be on the beach like always. It seems like the sense of beach traditions is going slowly down the drain, but I love the initiative people are taking to salvage our special holidays,” Kelley Oliveira ‘17.
Senior Brianne Zelko echoes these sentiments.
“I would rather it be at the beach because part of the fun is having your friends from home or siblings come, but at the same time I’m really excited to have it at The Grape, with the open bar, in the warmth, with the sandwiches, music and only seniors,” said Zelko.
Although this event is more geared toward seniors, underclassmen who feel as if they cannot participate in the event are disappointed by the change.
“It feels unfair for students under 21 to be excluded from an event that has been a tradition of Fairfield students for years,” said Kristen Gibney ‘19, who attended Sham Jam last year and enjoyed the event.
“I’m pretty disappointed that I don’t have the chance to go. Upperclassmen would tell me it was great,” said Chris Beninati ‘20. “I already bought one of the green shirts at the bookstore just for Sham Jam.”
In a poll posted by our Twitter account, 65 percent of the 31 surveyed said they will not be going to Sham Jam because it is not on the Point.
“I mean if this is what the people running it think this is what’s best who am I to say anything about it,” said Beninati.
Although other students are upset about the change, they remain positive.
Sophomore Gabrielle Harvey believes it will enhance her senior year.
“Sham Jam used to be something that all grades could experience and was a great freshman year memory for me. It’s sad to know it won’t be the same this year but I know it will make it ever more special for my time as a senior,” said Harvey.