WATERVILLE (AP) – Colby College officials are reviewing video tapes to determine if any seniors will be disciplined for making their traditional plunge into a campus pond on the last day of classes.

College administrators had warned students that they could be subject to fines of up to $1,000 and revocation of graduation week privileges if they entered Johnson Pond last Friday.

Even with the warning, hundreds of students gathered on the pond’s banks while Colby security officers recorded the event with video cameras. A couple dozen students jumped into the water and at least two swam across the pond, said college spokesman Stephen Collins.

Collins said administrators issued the warning because of safety concerns. He said many seniors in past years have shown up drunk and that the event can turn chaotic when 200 to 300 students jump in the pond at the same time, turning the waters muddy.

“There’s a fine line between an exuberant celebration and going over the line with excessive drinking,” he said.

Since the mid-1990s, Colby seniors on their last day of classes have met on the steps of Miller Library for a champagne toast before heading to the nearby pond. The college allowed the students to drink champagne as long as they were of legal drinking age and stayed within a designated area, Collins said.

Dean of Students Janice Kassman wrote students letters asking them to not jump in the pond. She said violators would risk being fined, lose their right to march at commencement and possibly be suspended.

Dan Parise, a student from Westborough, Mass., who was covered with mud from the pond, said the college has become too restrictive on students.

“For the last three years at least, I have been treated as a child,” he said. “I have not been treated like an adult at all.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.