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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Modfest slated for Jan. 29

Published: January 21, 2005
Section: News

Despite its last-minute cancellation late December, Union senators are working to reschedule Modfest. Assistant Dean of Student Life Alwina Bennett indicated that Saturday, Jan. 29 might be a likely date.

The traditional event was the subject of long negotiations between the Student Union and Brandeis administrators during the course of last semester. A compromise was reached, but some students fear that the festivities may be harmed as a result.
Early last semester, the Division of Student Life announced that Modfest would not be held due to concerns about safety and underage drinking, as well as noise complaints from Waltham residents during the prior Modfests.

The resulting student outcry prompted the Student Union to begin negotiations with both Student Life and the Department of Public Safety to see if some modifications could be made to the festivities that would alleviate these issues.

The agreement that came out of these prolonged talks promised a kinder, gentler Modfest: no one would be allowed into residences except the students that lived there, and the event would be more closely supervised by both Brandeis police officers and a contracted security firm.

The new Modfest had been scheduled for Dec. 10 at 10 p.m., but was called off that day because of rain. Class of 2005 Senator Alex Amann 05 and Foster Apartments (Mods) Senator Dilip Sidhu 05 are again in talks with Brandeis administrators to reschedule the event. According to Amann, they hope to have Modfest within the next few weeks, and if the event goes smoothly, there is a possibility that there might be another later this spring.

Sidhu and Amann, along with former Class of 2005 Senator Mitchel Balsam 05, went door-to-door to talk to Mod residents during the negotiation process. According to Sidhu, the response was overwhelmingly positive because residents were glad that they would be allowed to hold Modfest after all.

Everyone understands what a gift weve been given, he stated in an interview with The Hoot. Because of this, Sidhu said, he expects Modfest to go off without any problems from residents.

Not everyone in the Mods is quite so optimistic. One resident, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told The Hoot that he thought not as many people would come to a Modfest that was so tightly controlled. Its not going to be Modfest, he asserted. Its going to be lame.

Amann, too, expressed doubts, worrying that winter weather would be a deterrent to attendance.

Bennett agreed, saying that she thought Modfest would be better attended later in the semester.

Peter Williams 05, another Mod resident, said he liked Modfest. It is nice having people around outside, he said, and it never goes too late.

Williams also voiced concerns over the new rule that residents of the upper Mods must have their shades open during Modfest. This rule, according to Sidhu, was made so that police would be able to see if there was a medical emergency inside the suites.
I might be a little upset if I were an upper Mods resident and wanted some privacy that night, said Williams.

Bennett told The Hoot that it was likely the upcoming Modfest would have music and a sports tie-in. Her primary concern, she said, is the safety of everyone involved. She also mentioned the possibility that the tradition of having an additional Modfest during Senior Week would likely continue.

Union President Mark Schlangel indicated that the Union was interested in hosting up to three Modfests this semester, as part of a broad-based initiative to improve campus social life.

Student Life staff would not confirm this number and stated that such a move was “improbable.”