Student Activities and Clubs

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Students reading campus newspapers during a meal in Collins Hall.

“Making Headlines” 

During my time at CMC, I was on the staff of the college newspaper. One day, the editor came to a print deadline without a lead story for the front page. Being a proactive CMCer, he decided to remedy the problem by making a lead story himself. Late at night, he snuck into the dining hall and stole all the silverware. The next morning the students were forced to eat the dining hall food with their hands. The editor got his “timely” story, and no one ever suspected that the prank was pulled so the newspaper could cover it. 

- Bob Prater ‘53 

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An ROTC cadet rappels down the exterior of Fawcett Hall.

“Conquering the Towers”

While I was a student at CMC, I also was a cadet in the Army ROTC program. ROTC was a fantastic stepping stone into post-graduation active duty for a few years, and it is one of my most enduring memories from my time at CMC. As cadets, we conducted a variety of training exercises, one of which involved rappelling down the sides of the towers in South Quad. To rappel down a tower, one first constructs a harness consisting of rope and a D-ring (carabiner). The next step is to attach a rope to the D-ring and lean over the side of the building until one is staring straight at the ground below. At that point, the only task remaining is simply to start walking. Like most people, I found the first step to be the most terrifying, but I focused on keeping my wits intact and placing one foot in front of the other, until, suddenly, I found myself literally running down the side of the building. It was amazing how fast the seemingly long distance became shorter as the ground rushed up to meet me! Of course, another cadet stood below grasping the other end of the rope, providing essential braking services and helping me slow my descent and land gracefully…and intact.  

Rappelling built my confidence, which helped prepare me for some of the rigors I would experience as a newly minted Army officer shortly after graduation. At the time, I recalled thinking that rappelling was also a great marketing tool for both CMC and ROTC, since the sight of people rapidly descending a building from its walls inevitably attracted a curious crowd. Perhaps it would be worthwhile for the Admission Office and the ROTC Office to ask new students and cadets: “To what extent did the sight of those Batman-imitators in ROTC influence your decision to apply to CMC?” 

- John Mack ’90

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Mike Sutton ’76 attempts to block a pass by Scripps student Sarah Tholin during an intramural inner-tube water polo match.

“Intramural Adventures”

I enjoyed the competition and the camaraderie of intramural sports at CMC, especially soccer and inner-tube water polo. And I didn’t play for four years without gaining a few stories to tell.  

When I was part of the Benson soccer team, we played a team of professors and grad students who took the game very seriously. One professor from Mudd was throwing elbows the entire game, and another kept talking trash. Since they were our teachers, our team had played clean for the first half, but we had to let loose in the second. We ended up winning intramurals that year, and, although it didn’t go down in any record books, that success is one of my favorite memories of CMC. Admittedly, however, for the rest of the semester I walked to the other side of the quad when I saw the professors from that infamously intense match.  

We played inner-tube water polo in the pool at night, under the lights. By the end of the season, we would be shivering as we jumped in and out of the water. On one particularly cold night, my friends and I dared a fellow student to jump in the pool naked and try to play; for some reason the referees kicked him out. Needless to say, he had quite the cold “walk of shame” from the pool. 

- Thomas Keiffer ’10