The Student Government Association (SGA) officially sponsored a number of Doghead events leading up to this past weekend. These included the annual Colby Universe, Colby Music Incubator Concert, Late Night Trivia, Karaoke, and bingo, to name a few.
Early in the week, however, students encountered posters advertising an event called Monk Night, which would be sponsored by the Colby Student Gregorian Organization, an unofficial student group.
The poster insinuated that the event would be held at the same time and in the same location as the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s scheduled private event.
A quote from the poster read, “Join the SGA for an evening of worship and bell-ringing this Friday!”
This was followed by an offer that a prize would be awarded to the individual with the “best medieval monk costume.”
An Instagram account was later discovered impersonating SGA and advertising Monk Night. The public profile differentiated itself from the SGA account in its bio as the “Official Instagram of Colby College’s Student Gregorian Association.”
SGA, while working closely with its faculty advisor, Jon-Mark Olivier, encouraged its members to immediately take down any posters they saw and condemned the event in an official email sent to the entire student body.
The email read, “For clarification, no such Student Gregorian Association exists. It is not an approved or official Colby organization and has never been. The students involved should immediately cease promoting events or any such activities.”
SGA continued by condemning the event for its derogatory nature.
“ ‘Monk Night’ is not a Colby student tradition, and the concept of the event is derogatory to a number of religious traditions. We condemn the encouragement and promotion of any such event or group that mocks any religious identity or clothing,” the email read.
The fake Instagram account posted a response to SGA’s email. The Association claimed the purpose of the event was to promote medieval culture and condemned the accusation that it was mocking religious traditions.
It read, “We do not feel that the simple act of wearing medieval monk robes (as a historical practice) [is] offensive to Catholics.”
Jackie Hardwick, a representative of SGA, said, “To my knowledge, an investigation has not been launched. If the students involved continue to use the Student Government’s image to promote events or activities such as ‘Monk Night,’ that has the potential to change.”
Hardwick emphasized to The Colby Echo the importance of distancing SGA from the false association.
She said, “A governing body on a college campus cannot be associated with an unregulated drinking event targeted at underage students. When Student Government hosts events that involve alcohol, we are required to follow federal, state, and Colby laws about serving limits and ID checks (seen during Pub Night or Prom). If associated with this event and organization, whether it be mistakenly or purposefully, both the College and Student Government would be facing a multitude of legal issues.”
She added, “The Student Government did not want to be associated with an event with insensitive religious imagery.”
~ Maura Thompson `24