It was meant to be a temporary injunction: a way for the courts to stop the gathering of Clam Jam at Lantern Point due to an incident that happened in the weeks before the event in 2001. Six years later, the injunction is still in place, with an added “no tolerance policy” that became official this October.

Despite improved behavior from the students who occupy Lantern Point the neighboring year-round beach residents still continue to work diligently to make the law state that no more than 250 people can be allowed within the metal gates that border Lantern Point.

The good old days of Clam Jam, Keg Races and Mock Wedding have evaporated and eventually these events they will be nothing more than a fading memory. Or will they?

In 2001, when Clam Jam was canceled (instead of students protesting the injunction) students had no choice but to accept the consequences for fear of being arrested a couple of weeks before graduation, as some of their fellow students were.

The class of ’02 and ’03 did not help the matter either.

Instead of trying to strengthen relations with the surrounding residents, they rebelled. Who can forget the class of 2003’s Mock Wedding? As a freshman, I clearly remember a male student jumping off the rooftop of a two-story beach front house. He was subsequently brought to the hospital.

Eventually the University stopped taking responsibility for student traditions, citing libel issues as the cause for the cancellation of Mock Wedding, 200 Nights and Keg Races.

All of these negative incidents have given the community a sour taste of the Fairfield University student population. Fairfield residents tend to forget the progress our student body has made, instead only remembering the bad times.

In 2003, Princeton Review rated Fairfield University number one in worse “town-gown relations.” In the 2006 ranking, Fairfield University doesn’t even register on the Princeton Review’s list. So why are students still being punished for the irresponsibility of past students?

Many say that the new regulations down at Lantern Point have been the main factor in restoring the peace that year-round residents cherish. Nobody has cited the simple childhood lesson that people learn from other people’s mistakes.

It seems that as the years progress, the town continues to create more laws prohibiting students. Instead of Fairfield University standing up for its student body, the administration has given into the demands of ignorant townspeople who somehow believe that they stand above the law.

I’m sure that if we focused on their high school students loitering outside of Mike’s Pizza every afternoon, and their college-aged children coming home for breaks, invading the bars and getting sick on the sidewalks, their views would be a whole lot different. Maybe they should concentrate on controlling their own children, rather than squashing the traditions of a university that has benefited their town economically for years.

That being said, it is nice to see that the students have started to fight back. With student-organized events, such as 100 Nights, Mock Wedding and Keg Races we have let the school know that they cannot control everything. With or without support, the students are still clinging to tradition.

The past two graduating classes have handled events, such as 100 Nights, with class. Everyone had a good time, got home safely and didn’t need to visit the hospital. Maybe within a couple years the administration will realize that these events can be handled properly on the students’ parts and will reinstate the traditions that attracted so many kids to the University in the first place.

I urge the following classes to keep up with the traditions and to start bringing others back. Do I hear a cry for Clam Jam ’08? What about the Luau? The more we show the town and the school administration that these events will happen with or without their consent, and that students know how to make good judgments, the more they will realize that we aren’t looking to start trouble, we just want to have a little fun.

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