In an email to the ASSU’s leadership, Greg Boardman revealed that “Full Moon on the Quad will no longer be supported financially or administratively by Stanford”. The event’s removal comes amidst a movement to reduce sexual assault and drinking incidents on campus. The email stated that the event “regularly reports incidents of non-consensual behavior” and encourages students to “drink to excess” to overcome anxiety surrounding the tradition.
One of the best-known traditions on campus, FMOTQ started in the early 20th century when senior men gave roses and a kiss on the cheek to freshmen women. More recently, the event has been characterized by loud music, drunk students, and a kissing party that begins when the clock strikes midnight. Boardman explained that FMOTQ’s modern iteration “is not aligned with our values.” Instead, he explained, “it alienates as many as it welcomes.”
Several ASSU Senators were upset that Boardman did not include them in the decision process earlier. ASSU Vice-President Brandon Hill described during tonight’s Senate meeting how the issue was first raised several months ago within the context of looking for new, more inclusive traditions for the University. Although Hill “has enjoyed FMOTQ every year [he has] been”, Hill explained that ASSU President John-Lancaster Finley is “not a fan of FMOTQ”. The ASSU Executive is working with the University to resolve this matter, and explore new traditions.
Moving forward, Boardman explained Stanford’s “obligation to create rituals that welcomes incoming students to the full breadth of Stanford’s culture, beauty, diversity, and distinctiveness”.
Update (Wednesday 2 March, 3:18pm):
ASSU Vice-President Brandon Hill wishes to clarify that he prefaced his reading of Boardman’s letter at Tuesday night’s ASSU Senate meeting with a statement that the university is open to hear students’ feedback, and that the letter was a transcript of preliminary thoughts.
While Student Affairs strongly leans in favor of discontinuing the tradition, they seek to understand student opinion on the matter before making any official statement. However, the letter itself makes no comment on the need for dialogue with the Stanford community before taking a stance.
This is a developing story, and The Stanford Review will update this article as we become aware of further information.