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Editorial: Party with techno, not the BranPo

Published: September 19, 2008
Section: Opinions


Students attending Pachanga can typically anticipate long lines, techno music and an appearance by BEMCO–an unfortunate but predictable formula for disaster. Last Saturday’s Pachanga, however, also brought chaos in addition to criminal charges when unruly crowds outside the Levin Ballroom began yelling and pushing against the venue doors. Poor event planning coupled with students’ belligerent misbehavior resulted in a spectacle that was not only embarrassing but dangerous.

Students have complained ad infinitum about Brandeis’ quiet campus and lack of social life. Thus, when the largest organized dance party rolls around, students get so notoriously out of hand that Public Safety had to hire more than 20 security guards and police officers to control the crowd. Brandeis students pride themselves on their independent minds, but it seems that all of those qualities disappear under the influence of alcohol and with the promise of strobe lights and techno music. Students dispensed with the free thinking attitude they are so proud of and submitted to a mob mentality.

When we think of Brandeis students forming an angry mob and being arrested, we imagine them with protests signs in their hands, not red Solo cups. Just this past March, students marched in a orderly manner to protest the fifth year of the Iraq War. The fact that students can act peacefully when organizing an anti-war protest , but cannot control themselves when prevented from entering a dance party is simply pathetic. Students should be embarrassed by their behavior Saturday night. Yes, in some instances, it is necessary to say that college students will be college students, but students cannot expect to get away with playing the part of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To be treated as mature adults, they must act that way day and night, especially when so much of their behavior plays out on campus.

Instead of debating ticket sales and numbers of security guards, students, Pachanga organizers, and the administration need to ask tougher questions. Solving the Pachanga problem may not call for a logistics overhaul, but a cultural overhaul.