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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Safety concerns shut down Library Party

Published: November 14, 2014
Section: News

Last weekend, Student Events held its second annual Library Party—an event that has quickly adopted the infamy of Pachanga, a previously controversial and exciting party on campus. Fitted with a stripper pole and decorated so that nobody could ever imagine studying there, the library opened on Saturday, Nov. 8 for the party at 10 p.m.

Due to much hype in the weeks leading up to the event, students were lined up at the doors right when the party started. The building reached its capacity less than two hours after the party began, creating a long line outside the library. Student Events also closed off the upper level of the library for capacity reasons, making the already small area designated for the party even more crowded.

Students then became frustrated because of the restricted access to the upstairs area, according to Associate Director of Student Activities Steve Pagios. However, Student Events did have a second dance area on the first floor of Farber Library, where students could also go. “Outside, quite simply, there were a good amount of people that wanted to get in,” Pagios said.

Student Events and Public Safety, however, were more concerned about the safety concerns arising from large crowds. “For the space we were using in the library, we figured out those numbers and only allowed that number of people in,” Pagios said. “Eventually, people in line started pushing against the door and each other making the outside environment unsafe.” With the safety of the students in mind, Public Safety and the Department of Student Events decided that the best decision was to end the event.

The party was then shut down at approximately 11:45 p.m., with between 200 to 300 people still outside. Frustrated students still attempted to enter the library, some forcefully, and Brandeis Police were called to facilitate the shutdown of the event. Arriving officers encountered multiple intoxicated students, as well as “students who were upset and unruly because of the party closing,” according to an email to The Brandeis Hoot from Public Safety Director Ed Callahan. Police officers then spent a long time convincing party attendees to clear the area safely before students finally dispersed around campus.

Many students were intoxicated, resulting in numerous disturbances and complaints being filed all over campus that night, according to the Brandeis Police Log. In East Quad, a group of intoxicated students tipped over a table. In the Foster Mods, a large group of students from the party gathered outside, shouting anti-police slogans laced with profanity and banging on tables and cars. However, once Brandeis Police officers and cars arrived, the majority of the gathered students left the area peacefully.

When asked whether the Library Party would take place again next year, Pagios said, “That is a conversation Student Events plans on having with both Public Safety and the library staff to determine if the event will reoccur and if so, what measures can we take to ensure the event will be a safe and fun experience for all of our students.”

Andrew Elmers contributed to this report.