Yesterday, Fishbowl was cancelled. And yesterday, one more tradition at this great place has gone away. Fishbowl, by the way, was the traditional Senior clothing-optional run from the Student Center around 2 am on an April night, culminating in the ringing of The Gong. Fishbowl was begrudgingly feared by underclassmen, but served as a strong bond for the Senior class.
I would be lying if I said I was surprised by Fishbowl’s cancellation. Look, we all saw it coming. But this event’s cancellation symbolizes the radical change that this College has gone through while we’ve been here.
Many great things have come about (facilities, academic, and otherwise,) but lost repeatedly are the student activities that made a 2,000 person school great, not small. There used to be an on-campus social life on Thursdays and Saturdays, often in the same weekend. Now, the inevitable drinking happens downtown–and students are left to their own devices to get there and back safely. There used to be Tent Dances. Remember when Camelympics used run until 2AM and then resume the next day? “The longest game” was a Camelympics activity that ran through the night.
I used to affectionately call Conn “a big high school” referring to how there were activities and events, and how it was a place where you recognized most of the faces in the dining hall. Slowly, Conn is becoming “a big high school” with near-parental chaperones and structure. Lost is the trust placed in students; lost is the ideal of shared governance; lost is the quirkiness; and lost are the few traditions upon which we have always looked forward to.
I still love this College. I am eternally grateful for the time I have spent here, my admittance, and the friends and connections I’ve made, as well as the sincerely enjoyable activities I’ve been fortunate to part of. I would still recommend this place to any person looking to apply. It’s just not the same place I arrived at. And I hope that the administration, during these few days of chaos, realizes the importance that the students see in Fishbowl, not as an event, but as a tradition that symbolizes greater things. I hope the administration sees the care students have for keeping Conn like they found it.