Students dance at what might be the last Video Dance Party to occur over NSO week. Photo by Beryl Coulter.

I feel as if this community was robbed of a pinnacle experience that defines the return of the academic year and a re-entry into college life.

The first video dance party (VDP) was rescheduled, and then once again re-planned. And now, it appears the event has been moved to mix with Halloween, marking the end-as-we-know-it of the most memorable nights of the CC calendar year for both first-years and their older peers alike.

As the second week of Block 2 comes to a close, it looks like my final real VDP was last August, much to my growing horror.

While I think anyone who as ever attended, chaperoned, or somehow experienced a VDP understands the countless reasons for concern surrounding the event, I’m not sure the alternatives are any better.

A widely attended “R.I.P. VDP” party was held at an off-campus residence that brought a swarm of students, resulting in police and Campus Safety intervention. Students who live at that house are still working to repair relationships with their neighbors and the chunks of plaster that were knocked out by dancing attendees.

It’s completely reasonable for the college to be alarmed at an event that is defined by underage drinking, wild behavior, and general tom-foolery. However, I believe many feel the total cancellation of VDP was both a gross overreaction and nothing less than a travesty.

The video dance party was one a defining moment of the new student orientation week.

Yes, VDP was specifically meant for new students to shed some of the tension of beginning college life, but it also served as a gathering that created a space for other students already on campus to reunite and interact with new members of the community.

Instead, that introduction came in a jam-packed sweaty basement a few blocks from campus.

The allure of VDP is inherent: a night to let loose and learn (or re-learn) the sometimes hard-to-navigate aspects of CC’s social life.

On a chilly night in August 2010, VDP was my guide to a totally new experience. For first-years this past August, I’m sure many came and left equally confused.

Even if the event were moved, I’m not sure it could or would ever be the same. Doing so would eliminate any such teaching experience, as most students have already sampled CC’s wild side a few times.

Besides, would VDP be any tamer if the whole school attended? I would presume not.

Perhaps in future years the administration, student leaders, and the popular opinion of the community can find an equally fulfilling solution or alternative to VDP. As one of the most important experiences of my first days at the college, I would find it to be detrimental to everyone if the event were forever whisked-away.

After all, you can only hide all that neon and spandex for so  long.

Jesse Paul



  1. “Robbed of a pinnacle experience”? “Growing horror”? “Nothing less than a travesty”? I’m sorry Jesse, you’re free to express your opinion about VDP and sure, it’s a bummer that it’s not around in the way it used to be, but this seems wildly overdramatic to me. If this is a “pinnacle” and “defining” moment of the CC college experience… I suppose that leaves me wondering what that means about kind of college experience we have here? That VDP is one of the most outstanding aspects of Colorado College?

    Words like “horror” and “travesty” make us look so entitled in comparison to people around the world who are experiencing real horror and travesty. We’re outraged because instead of VDP, we’ll end up at some other drunk party for privileged, fortunate college kids? This is the kind of “horror” we decide to spend our time writing about?

    And lastly, the phrases “teaching experience” and “opportunity to reunite and interact with new members of the community”… Teaching? It’s an opportunity for people to get plastered and aimlessly hook up with their peers. Sure, that’s an aspect of the college experience that most of us have had and perhaps there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but lets not beat around the bush with euphemisms like “teaching,” “reunite” and “interact.”


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