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  • The Claremont Independent

Surviving 6:01

By now, CMC students’ WOA leaders, orientation sponsors, and resident assistants have likely shed some light on “6:01,” the infamous event that concludes the first week of classes and begins CMC’s party year. If your fine mentors went into any detail about 6:01’s rich history, you’ve learned that the occasion previously commemorated the completion of CMC’s dry week.

CMC’s dry week – during which the school prohibits any and all consumption of alcohol on campus – previously occupied the totality of freshman orientation and the first week of classes, concluding at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. Naturally, CMC students paid homage to the end of dry week with a cocktail soiree on Green Beach, which began promptly at 6:01 p.m. The 6:01 tradition grew into a state-of-the-art annual festivity as students discovered innovative celebratory techniques, such as pouring champagne into friends’ mouths from over the Green dorm balcony. Unfortunately, that innovation went a little too far a few years ago, when some students endeavored to celebrate the occasion by releasing doves from a cage. (Apparently the release didn’t go as planned.)

The CMC administration responded to the out-of-handedness that had become 6:01 by shortening dry week to just a few days, concluding at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the first day of classes. The general understanding is that the college intended to curb the excessive drinking at 6:01 provoked by the long wait. It may have worked – the party has apparently mellowed the last few years – but it didn’t stop students from continuing the tradition that is 6:01.

This year, the college has returned to the previous week-long dry period, with just one catch. Dry week will end at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday rather than 6:00 p.m. There will be a countdown to 6:01 on Green Beach nonetheless.

6:01 can be a fun occasion when celebrated responsibly, but for many it unfortunately becomes a night of regrets. We’d like for you, the class of 2017, to avoid that fate, so we’ve collected a few freshman-year 6:01 anecdotes from some upperclassmen. Do yourselves a favor and learn from our mistakes.

“Like many CMC students, I chose to remain sober throughout high school. While this choice worked well during adolescence, it also meant that I arrived in Claremont ill-equipped to handle 5C parties or Thursday Night Clubs (TNC). At 6:01, I went insane – to put it mildly. I drank enough rum to satisfy a crew of pirates. When I awoke the following morning in a groggy stupor, I grabbed my towel and headed for the shower. As I was washing shampoo out of my hair, I realized that I had actually entered the girl’s bathroom. Luckily, I managed to escape without alerting the girl in the shower next to me. Enjoy 6:01, but take it easy. You have four years to go wild.”

“At my freshman year 6:01, I got a little too confident with a guy on Green Beach. I’d seen him around campus during orientation and thought he was cute. When I stumbled into him after the 6:01 countdown, we started talking and he asked if we’d been in the same math department orientation session. (We had.) I immediately blurted out that yes, of course I remembered seeing him there because he was ‘hard to forget.’ He proceeded to ask me why he was so unforgettable – upon which I defensively ordered him not to make me answer that question! To this day, I wonder if he remembers this encounter whenever we run into each other on campus. Have fun flirting at 6:01, but don’t forget your filter.”

“I noticed a couple of kids near the fence of one of the Pomona-Pitzer pools talking about how they should hop the fence and go swimming. For some reason, they decided not to, but, being the adventurous drunk that I am, I decided to hop the fence and see what was on the other side. This dangerous venture involved avoiding barbed wire, shimmying across a 15-20 foot tall plaster wall, and sliding down a flag-pole. I somehow made it. Once in the pool area, I didn’t jump in, but decided to open a door to see if I could sneak other people in. When I opened the door, an alarm sounded, so I ran through some bushes, jumped back over the fence as quickly as possible, and was safe – only to realize that I had just lost my keys, which are worth $150 each, plus a $15 fee for my ID card. With both items necessary for any sort of access to dorms, classrooms and meals, I quickly tried to hop the fence a second time. But, as I reached the top, I saw a security guard in the pool area and immediately decided to abort the mission.”

“Brace yourselves…. College is coming. In times of old (as in last year), there were waterfalls flowing from the hills of Green, streams glistening from the North to Marks, and a glorious, awesome barrage of funk louder than thunder. All dramatics aside, 6:01 is a time of fun, festivities, and free-ranging. Take it from someone who’s been in your shoes: DRINK A LOT…. OF WATER!!! That’s the best way to ensure that you can actually keep up with 6:01 and make it memorable as well. MUCH LOVE AND WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY!”


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