Liebowitz Ends Purple Jesus

On Tuesday, President Liebowitz surprised just about everyone by declining the Community Council’s strong recommendation to allow the Mill to continue to be an official exception to the social house pilot program, which bans hard alcohol. This means the Mill can no longer host Purple Jesus, one of the most popular and storied all-campus parties and the Mill’s longest (over twenty years) and most important tradition.

We all assumed Purple Jesus was safe after the Community Council voted 14 in favor, 2 opposed, 3 abstentions to let the Mill continue to be an exception to the pilot program and its hard alcohol ban. While many rumors surround the content of the Purple Jesus drink, P Safe monitors its preparation closely and it is diluted to 5.4% abv.–weaker than heavy beer. Furthermore, Purple Jesus events have had hardly any problems with citations or dorm damage.  But Liebowitz decided to decline the nearly unanimous recommendation anyways:

Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 4.01.28 PM

This will certainly not help with brewing student frustration over administrative micromanaging of the social scene. And with no Purple Jesus and no ADP, many predict Midd’s social scene will begin to move even more underground and off-campus, which will have repercussions of its own.

We will keep you updated with any more news we hear about Liebowitz’s decision.

  • Funsucks

    Awesome! Middlebury will continue to have the worst social life of any liberal arts college ever!!!!! So glad I came!

  • :-/
  • Bummer.

    So so bummer. Best party(ies) of the year, no doubt.

  • Think again

    I’m actually not sure that this is right. The letter seems to indicate that it’s not JUST the Mill who can have purple jesus but all social houses.

  • partypooper

    it sucks but it’s fair. what’s standard for one is standard for all. welcome to the rest of your lives.

    • not quite that simple

      except that it was a trade off… because the mill chose to not opt into the program in 2006 (and thus kept the ability to serve hard alcohol at parties), they did not receive the ability to host longer parties (by opting in other social houses can have 5 hour parties, the mill can only have 4 hr. events) and cannot serve as much beer (by opting in other houses were able to have 5 kegs/event, I believe the mill can only have 2)

      • ExMill

        correct. The Mill is so close to town that they can’t take advantage of the longer parties, so thus the Mill opted out. Also, tradition that has been going on for 20+ years, now dead. There was a reason that that party survived when others came and went…

        • Anonymous

          seems like old chapel would like the mill on ridgeline?

          • ExMill

            Of course they would. But that would rob the Mill of what makes it the Mill

      • partypooper

        That was then this is now. As the letter states, Ron wants all social houses to be under the umbrella of the new program “without exception”. Does it make it a good idea? No. Is it fair? Questionably. But the tradeoff in the past clearly has no bearing whatsoever in Ron’s decision.

        • Jared

          There were much better solutions to this “inequity” discussed at the community council meeting. Why Ron wasn’t present (or involved in the discussion) and yet chose to veto the recommendation is beyond me.

          • partypooper

            completely agree. im just being cynical, i love purple jesus.

            its better than church

  • Phil

    Sad day.

  • MillAlum

    I hope you current Mill Kids throw some sort of Easter resurrection next year. Can’t let the big J go out like this

  • Josh_From_Stew

    Makes no sense to me. First, if you have ever been to Purple Jesus, you probably know that the Mill is not allowed to serve full cups to “non-members” and they limit you to 2 cups if you are fortunate enough to get that many. After that you can try to get whats left of the keg or you’re on your own. Second, Drop-In just crafted a new, delicious brew called “Dude, Are you Ok?” that weights in at 9.0% abv, nearly twice the alcohol content as the Purple Jesus drink regulated by Public Safety. Third, if I don’t feel like waiting in line for a half cup of nasty purple syrup or spending the money at Drop In (and probably Grapevine too), you can buy ingredients to make panty dropper or a gin bucket for about $30 at Hannafords.

    I think every student at Midd realizes that the school alcohol policy is nonsensical. But, what many students (and administrators) do not realize is that the application of rules and regulations is not designed for our safety or wellbeing; rather, it is an incomprehensible application of “smoke and mirrors” tactics designed to appease Commissioner Michael Hogan and his draconian alcohol policies. This is simply another manifestation of the fundamental disconnect between policy and reality at Middlebury College, which seems to only get worse by the semester. If Leibowitz and the administration think Purple Jesus Night is contributing to the perceived campus wide alcohol problem, he’s never been to a Battell dorm room around 10 pm on a Saturday night.

    • toke_Peeope

      If you dont like purple jesus you can get out.

  • Elizabeth Sanfelippo

    Liebowitz was not even at the Community Council meeting?! If that is true, Midd has become a veiled dictatorship. So sad – The Mill was my home and Purple Jesus was legendary. Very disappointed with this terrible abuse of power by the college President. Johnny Mac would not approve.

  • Alum

    Not surprising coming from a man who thought it was somehow appropriate to give a speech about binge drinking at our commencement. Fun declined steadily at Midd the moment Ron took office.

  • Enough

    Okay, final straw. Josh_from_Stew has it right, and I agree with most of the people posting. I’ve been here two years now and the thing that makes me most want to transfer from Middlebury is the embarrassingly bad social life. The administration’s control is insulting and not at all paralleled at other schools. My friends at peer institutions report none of the same issues. There are real parties, big ones, fun ones, with people hanging out, drinking, smoking, whatever, but doing it without fear that the whole thing is going to get shut down in a moment. They aren’t drinking as fast as they can lest it all get taken away. They have a respectful, honest relationship with their version of public safety. And you know what? The result is that there’s less of a mystic of partying. They aren’t doing the stupid, fucked up, let’s-take-five-shots-before-we-go-out-cause-we’re-not-getting-any-more bullshit that freshman on this campus are doing. It’s insulting to know that we, Midd students specifically, are treated like can’t handle more responsibility. It’s a shame that we’re having less fun and having less satisfying weekend experiences. This shit is all internalized; it comes out in the culture, people’s happiness and stress level. We need to stand up and do something about it. Ron Liebowitz shutting down one of the few traditions left at this school-spiritless school because of an alcoholic drink mixed in front of officers to 5.4% is stupid, illogical, and a blatant abuse of power. We need to stand up and tell the administration that this is one step too far. We need to fucking tell him, Shirley Collado, whoever else is running this backwards push to lay off or deal with the collective force of the student body.