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There is no more important training for a young journalist than a lesson in how to hold your liquor. And there is no better way to learn to hold your liquor than at an open bar you can't get from. Hence the annual Columbia J-School booze cruise, at which this year — this is our favorite part — it seems the cocktailing will begin at 4 p.m. Of course, while an open bar would be ideal, the j-school currently charges its students a mere $38,500 in tuition and fees, and so it can afford only a cash bar. And, even better, a "cash food bar" — unless students shell out six bucks for the buffet, they're stuck with only "chips and salsa, and crudite with herbed dipping sauce." Dress is "reporter semi-formal," which seems easy enough until you remember how reporters dress, and the full email announcement is after the jump.

From: [redacted]
Subject: You're invited to the annual BOAT CRUISE
Date: May 9, 2006 12:40:28 PM EDT

note: new boat + dockside party for two hours


Monday, May 15, 2006
4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Pier 81 (directions below)
4:00boarding starts
4:00-5:40 - party on board docked boat
5:40-6:00 - disembarking for those who don't want to sail
6:00-8:00 - We may sail until 9pm depending on weather.

The SPJ & the Dean's office invite you to join students, faculty, adjuncts, staff and guests as we cruise the Hudson in our very own boat, the Temptress (alas, it's ours only for a night).

No RSVP required. FREE for current students, faculty, adjuncts & staff (bring your ID). $20 for each guest (cash only, bring money to the boat; parents, spouses, significant others, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles all welcome). Kids under five: no charge; kids under 12: $10.

The cruise will include a cash bar, disc jockey and finger foods such as chips and salsa, and crudite with herbed dipping sauce. There will also be food: a $6 "cash food bar" ie, chicken, pasta, salad, rice, etc.

Before the cruise, we will pause to hand out awards for SPJ Teacher of the Year and SPJ Student of the Year. Shhh, it's a surprise.

Attire should be Holiday Party-ish, or as we like to say, "reporter semi-formal" (dressy, but no tuxedos required).

FYI, the boat fits 500 on two levels (it's covered). We usually have about 350+ people attend.

DIRECTIONS: The boat is at Pier 81 at West 41st at the Hudson River (it's left of the Circle Line). Take the 1 or 9 train to 42nd St; walk west to the Westside Highway; cross to the pier and make a little right and you will the boat. Bus: The M42 bus runs West on 42nd St.