Downtown after-party celebrates inauguration

Students, staff wrap up inaugural weekend with gastropub party at Punchbowl Social at Pioneer Place

Illustration of people at a party, one of them holds a sign that says "We (heart) Robin".
Sofia Reeves / The Mossy Log

Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted the Student Inauguration afterparty at the Punch Bowl Social club in downtown Portland on Oct. 22. The event served as an end cap to the weekend of celebrations that welcomed Robin Holmes-Sullivan as the 26th president of Lewis & Clark. 

LC students and community members packed the large venue located on the third story of the Pioneer Place Mall which offers copious space for games and socializing as well as a 21+ section where alcoholic drinks were available. The venue features 12 bowling lanes, two karaoke rooms, ping pong tables, an arcade and a few bars that served non-alcoholic drinks free of charge. A large number of the attending students took transportation provided by the college to and from the event.

 The energetic atmosphere of the afterparty was energetic and many students attended. The students split off into various groups to check out all that the venue had to offer. In addition to the free beverages, two tables were set up and piled with an assortment of foods, including two types of sliders, cilantro wings, a wonderfully cheese mac and cheese, grilled veggie quesadillas and shrimp cocktail. 

Ezra Hart ’25 oversaw a good deal of the afterparty’s planning along with other members of CAB. He began to work out the logistics last Spring in order to create a fun and open environment for students and the community to celebrate.

 “We wanted something where (Robin) could actually interact with people and be able to talk a bit more in a nice kind of way, a social gathering where both the students and Robin felt comfortable,” Hart said. 

According to Hart, off campus events can be difficult to facilitate, especially on weekends when students may want to spend their free time away from school sanctioned parties. 

“Off campus events are always kind of hard because it’s hard to gauge what people want to do on a weekend, but I’m so happy with this turn out!,” Hart said. “There could be just 10 people showing up and if they are having a good time, that’s all that matters!”

Fortunately, since the event was so well broadcasted to the student body, the venue was full and lively. Overall, students seemed to greatly enjoy themselves and took advantage of all the venue had to offer. 

“I think it’s wonderful!” Stella Mercer ’25 said. “It is so awesome that it is free, it’s so fun. I feel bad for all the people who decided not to go.” 

Gathered at a small table near the bowling lanes, Mercer and a group of friends discussed the event. Mira Larrance ’25 had only one critique. 

“I wish they had a dance floor,” she said. 

Ian Cebula ’25 who was also at the table commented on how well the event was executed. 

 “Basically my whole vibe of this place was that I wasn’t planning to come until like an hour and a half before, but I realized all my friends would be here,” Cebula said. “It is way more bougie than I would have expected.”

Holmes-Sullivan arrived toward the end of the party. She casually milled around and spoke to different groups of students and community members. 

The new president made sure to take this time and connect with the students that she believes made her election possible and make her gratitude toward the community known.

 “I wanted to do a big thank you to the students, because I felt they played a huge role in me getting the presidency,” Holmes-Sullivan said. “I wanted them to make sure they knew I appreciated them, and that my focus on the student experience is not going to change.”

 The party, she added, felt like the cherry on top of days of wonderful celebrations welcoming a new chapter in LC’s history. 

“I think the party is outstanding,” Holmes-Sullivan said. “It is very safe and there is a lot of variety, just look around.”Students look really really happy, so it warms my heart.” 

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