EDITORIAL: The 4Floors conundrum

Editorial/Opinion by

When an issue is too divisive for our editorial board to reach a consensus on it, we feel that our readers are better served by two competing editorials that look at all sides of the debate. With that in mind, we tackle the party everyone loves to hate: 4Floors-should it stay or should it go?

UNLEASH THE POTENTIALMcGill students are spoiled. Not only do we get a quality education for a pretty reasonable price, but we get it in a city with a nightlife that can rival any other in North America.

This, along with our status as Canada’s best university, has given us a great sense of pride in our school, but surprisingly little school spirit. We’ve got the inflated ego and the smug sense of superiority over other universities, but no real affection for the school itself. After Frosh, most of us leave our enthusiasm for McGill behind and continue on with our academic careers, occasionally looking back with fond memories of our eagerness to party on campus.

4Floors is a perfect example of this phenomenon. No one goes to what should be the biggest party of the year because it’s “only for freshmen.” Apparently only freshmen are stupid enough to go to a party on campus. The rest of us (supposedly) sophisticated, intellectual types forgo the event, making it a serious flop in recent years.

Now the formerly famous bash is pulling the dead weight of a few years of failure, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t turn it back into the kind of party it could-and should-be.

4Floors isn’t problem-free. Huge lines have always been an issue, so some people who make it down to Shatner leave after standing around for an hour. SSMU needs to figure out how to get people to actually come out, and then shorten the waiting time once they get there.

Maybe with shorter lines and a few freebies to entice the masses it can be revived. That and a little school pride without the condescending attitude.

What could be better than a huge party on your own campus with your fellow students, where you don’t have to worry about tipping the bartender? Maybe we’re just too cool for school spirit. Whatever the case, McGill is famous for great partying, so why can’t we throw a good party on campus? With $2 beers, free T-shirts and an opportunity to draw obscene pictures on your friends, this year’s should be one of the best parties of the year. Cheap beer is cheap beer and even the kids from Concordia understand the merit of that.

GET RID OF ITBeing number ten on Playboy’s list of top ten party schools should mean something. For starters, it should mean that we’re capable of throwing a pretty good party. But if the annual 4Floors bash held in the Shatner building is any indication of our standing, then we must have been ranked there in spite of our inability to do so.

Hailed this year as “the return of a campus legend,” one has to question at what point in time these parties were ever worth talking about. Sure, there are cheap drinks and food, but that’s no different from any departmental beer and pizza. Moreover, a party spanning four floors is no longer a marquee event; by heading a couple of blocks south from the Shatner building towards Ste-Catherine’s, one can find a plethora of bars and clubs with better music, better booze and most importantly, a better crowd.

More renowned as a campus fable for the incoming froshies, the majority of students avoid 4Floors for its legendary long lines and notoriously younger crowd. And who can blame anyone in second, third or fourth year for staying away? At the end of the night, no one wants to wade through the remnants of first-year vomit, spilled beer and who knows what else on four different floors.

Many argue that this is a reputation problem. We all remember our first 4Floors, and so will never go back again. But even when the party was revamped last year into the Ménage à Trois, the event still failed to bring in crowds worthy of anyone’s planning or party time. Perhaps it was the French name that confused the residents of our mostly English-speaking campus. Nevertheless, this should be an indication that no matter how you dress it up, 4Floors no longer resonates with the general student body.

When it takes place, this year’s party has a lot to live up to. It needs to be the place to be on Friday night and it needs to shed its historically dreadful reputation. If it doesn’t succeed in doing so, SSMU should take it as a final sign that the glory days are gone and it’s time to stop trying to resurrect the party, cut the dead weight and move on to more promising ventures.