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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Pachanga runs without chaos

Published: April 19, 2013
Section: News

Pachanga: the myth, the legend, the dance of the year took place last weekend, after two years in the “time out corner,” as Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer said in his warning email to students before the event. There has been a buzz about the event stirring all year.

The last time the event was held, two students were arrested for assaulting university police officers and nine were transported to the hospital for alcohol intoxication. This year saw six reported alcohol cases treated by BEMCo on Saturday night, including four hospital transports, according to the university police media log.

“There were several alcohol related response concerns but fewer than the last Pachanga,” Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan wrote in an email. Only four students were sent to the hospital—less than half than were sent the last time Pachanga took place. A Cataldo Ambulance crew stood by with BEMCo at the event, evaluating students, keeping them until they were ready to be released, or sending them to Newton Wellesley Hospital for future care.

Interestingly, four of the reported cases were also females, three of whom were identified as 19-year-olds. The fact that more than half of the logged cases consisted of younger students may be evidence of the effect that the rumors of Pachanga have had on students during the course of the year as its return became definite.

“I think people made it seem more crazy than it actually ended up being,” said Fay Laborio ’16 who attended the event.

The party is known for the recklessness it induces and encourages extensive drinking before the event.

“I heard a lot of people just saying, “It’s Pachanga, it’s all OK!” said Laborio.

Despite the changes made to make sure the event was not a repeat of last time, students still enjoyed Pachanga.

“I think Pachanga lived up to my expectations, even though it wasn’t as wild. It was definitely fun!” said Laborio.

The International Club had to work hard to ensure that it would be a safer environment than the last time that the event was held.

“There was a lot of preparation . . . and discussions to make sure that we made Pachanga safer than last time and we were practical about everything so that the incidents that happened two years ago wouldn’t happen again,” said Patricia Amselem ’14, an administrator for the International Club. “And it didn’t happen, so I guess we did a good job.”

Callahan continued to say in his email that the Division of Student Life, the Health Center and their staff, as well as the ICC staff and Community Living hosted educational and social events before Pachanga.

This year’s event was much safer than the last time it was held, due to the extra safety precautions taken.

While plans have not been made for next year, Amselem says that she believes they will be able to hold Pachanga again.