Back to the Future: A Hopeful Reflection on Scripps’ Party Culture Post-Tomorrowland


Kayla Mar ’27

Staff Writer


“Are you headed to CMC or Pomona?” 

“I heard Mudd is hosting something, are you going?” 

“Oh, you’re going to that Pitzer dorm party? Cool, I’m heading to Green Beach.” 

These words echo almost every Friday and Saturday night in the Claremont Colleges’ infamously predictably unpredictable party scene. Some constants remain within 5C party culture: Claremont McKenna frequently hosts parties, Pomona has dependable event spaces, and Harvey Mudd has fun dorm culture. However, Scripps is consistently omitted from most party conversations. 

On Nov. 4, Scripps hosted Tomorrowland, its first 5C party of the year. As the first day-party in Scripps’ history, the glitz, glam, and glitter of the music festival aura shone across Bowling Green Lawn in the setting sun’s golden cast. 

Tomorrowland was the first party planned by the SAS Programming Committee, led by SAS 5C Events Chair Sarah Paper ’25 and Vice President of Student Affairs Melina Durre ’25, since the committee’s revival this fall. 

Paper recalled the tension between SAS and the administration following the premature shutdown of Scripps’ Halloween party last fall and the different response to Tomorrowland. “Admin really enjoyed [Tomorrowland] and gave compliments about how we ran the event,” Paper said. “Admin was a lot more critical about the way [Halloween] was run because it became an unsafe situation […] It’s hard because it feels like the rules for planning these events are very strict.” 

Paper and Durre explained how Scripps’ 5C events are outlined 10 to 12 weeks in advance with administration. “There’s a lot of supervision and […] everything has to be extremely specified and [administration has] to know every little thing that’s going on,” Durre said. 

“At other schools, the rules are different. That makes it frustrating because obviously you are going to compare your school’s social life to the four other colleges around you,” Paper remarked. “Pitzer doesn’t do capacity and wristbands, stuff like that. Budget stuff as well.” 

It is a common occurrence at the other 5Cs to have club or affinity group sponsored parties – yet, only Scripps prohibits such events. “It’s just frustrating that there aren’t more of these events – or, there aren’t more opportunities for organizations to have parties on Scripps’ campus,” Paper said. 

The Scripps party budget is $20,000 per semester for 5C parties, which comes from the student fees. Scripps has the lowest student fee out of the 5Cs and has not been updated in approximately 10 years. 

“I wish we had more money towards student events,” Durre said. “Obviously it’s good our student fees are low in terms of students being able to afford Scripps, but also the cost of tuition is going up but none of it is going towards the student life itself.”

This sentiment goes beyond mere elation many college students find in partying – party culture is a point of pride for many schools, and Scripps does not have any. Additionally, Paper and Durre expressed their frustration with the current state of non-SAS funded parties. 

When a party is hosted independently in a Scripps space, it is well known that it will be shut down very shortly. “Things just got shut down and people stopped hosting [parties] once they realized it wasn’t going to be successful,” Paper added.

When Scripps discourages partying in any capacity throughout its campus – except for the one 5C party per semester the budget allows for – Scripps students simply migrate to other campuses, thus perpetuating the dormancy of Scripps’ party culture.

“People like partying when you’re young,” Durre said, “It’s just kind of innate as what you expect from the college experience.”

What Paper and Durre expressed is no new phenomenon – complaints about the comparatively substandard and unnecessarily strict Scripps party scene have circulated for years. However, following the fractured relationship between SAS and administration after last fall’s Halloween party, Tomorrowland’s success is monumental for the potential evolution of Scripps party culture – if administration allows it. 

“We’ve thrown a good party,” Paper said. “I think we have a good case to find ways to work with admin to increase our engagement.”

While the continued friction between administration and the student body continues, large steps are being made to honor student wishes. “It’s going to be really hard to make change, but I know Melina and I are very passionate about that and I plan on at least having the conversation continuously,” Paper said.


Image Source: Ava Koblik ’26

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