Section: Opinion

Column: Make parties whimsical again

With midterm elections rapidly approaching, you’ve likely been bombarded by a multitude of catchy slogans. Now, I don’t want to get political, but I’ve been inspired to start my own movement. I think it’s time that we throw a new initialism into the mix: MPWA, or Make Parties Whimsical Again. What exactly does this movement entail? Allow me to explain.

I don’t need to describe Kenyon parties to you because they’re all the same. If you’ve been to one; you’ve been to them all. It’s the same monotonous routine every time. You and your friends spend hours excitedly discussing the night ahead, only to spend three hours jumping up and down to mediocre music in a sweaty sea of your unenthusiastic peers. If you’re “lucky,” you might experience the thrills of romance, aka being pawed at by some guy you’ve never seen before. (Does he even go here?) To top it all off, you walk home in the freezing cold, praying to make it back to your dorm without getting bitten by a rabid raccoon.

Well, I say no more! If I want to listen to bad music, I’ll turn on my ex’s spotify playlist, and if I want an over-the-shirt mammogram, I’ll go to the health center, not the NCAs. Parties should feel like parties. It’s time we bring back the weird, the wacky, the eclectic. It’s time we start treating your average Kenyon rager like the themed birthday party of a really weird elementary school student.

Luckily for you, my dear reader, I was a really weird elementary school student, so I’ll draw upon my own experiences to propose some excellent party themes. NCA residents, I implore you to steal an idea or two next time you’re throwing. You can thank me later.

For my fifth birthday, the theme was “fairytale tea party.” Every guest was required to show up in costume (the more fantastical, the better). Then, the colorful crowd of princesses, dragons and garden gnomes sat around a beautifully decorated table and enjoyed refreshing beverages and delectable desserts. I might be biased, but I think that’d be an excellent premise for a college party. Everyone can dress up and eat treats, and because this is a wet campus, students of legal drinking age can enjoy a little extra magic in their fairytale tea.

Another of my excellent childhood parties (third grade) was centered around hula hoop making. My mom purchased an obscene amount of flexible PVC pipe, which my friends and I bent into vaguely circular shapes. We then adorned our hoops with duct tape in a myriad of animal print patterns (I opted for hot pink zebra stripes). It was the kind of unique experience that I can still remember vividly a decade later, when the only hoops I’m jumping through are my midterms.

Finally, the pinnacle of my party career: my second-grade knitting party. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Every guest got a ball of yarn and a pair of needles and was turned loose in the backroom of a Michael’s. Very little knitting was actually accomplished, but everyone went home with a smile and a potential new hobby.

Kenyon parties don’t necessarily need to feature these exact sorts of activities, but I think a general turn towards arts and crafts would make them more enjoyable and less forgettable. Plus, you get a fun party favor! Students should be able to come home with more souvenirs than just a bad case of mono.

This is the guiding philosophy of the MPWA movement. Are you in?

Dorothy Yaqub ’26 is a columnist for the Collegian. She has not declared a major and is from Santa Barbara. Calif. She can be reached at


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