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Campus News

Raining on the Parade

by Grace Hatton, Reverb Editor

Sparkles and Spandex ended 20 minutes before the scheduled and traditional 1 a.m. cut off point this year. As people yelled and chanted for more songs, the DJ packed up his equipment, the lights snapped on and party monitors attempted to usher the crowds outside.

Students who were still dancing at the end of Sparkles and Spandex may have noticed a layer of water covering the Stephenson common room. Somehow one of the radiators had been damaged and residence life staff along with party monitors and party hosts were left with the arduous task of attempting to mop up the small lake filling the room and dealing with disgruntled party goers.

There seems to be no clear indication of what caused the flooding in the common room, although it is possible that during the party, someone may have jumped on and unintentionally kicked the radiator, contributing to the damages, but the cause of the accident is still unclear.

“The radiator flooded because it was damaged” said Area Coordinator Margot Jebb “HVAC and Plumbing crew worked overtime to fix the situation by Monday morning.”

Thanks to there being no real indication of how this happened, talk of community damages has been swirling in the air since, in addition to the flooding, there were other damages to Stephenson. As a result the ladies of Stephenson may be taking the fall for the damage and be issued community damages charges.

“As with all community damages, we investigate the person or persons responsible for the damage before adding the repair costs to the residents of the building,” said Jebb “We are still in the process of investigating the damages.”

Along with the watery end to the party, Sparkles and Spandex was the first event to introduce a new system of allowing people in and out of the party—the wristbands. The wristbands were a way to control the number of people coming into Stephenson which is one of the smaller party spaces on campus. Thanks to the wristband system for a vast majority of the night there was a line outside of Stephenson full of people attempting to get into the glittery festivities.

The success of the new system is difficult to gauge, however it does give a clear picture as to how popular the party was.

“There were about 400 people who came through the party throughout the night—about 150 people in the building at one time,” Jebb said. “Again, we saw that the interest of the party was larger than the space itself and that may have prohibited some people from being there as long as they wanted and kept people waiting in line to get in.”

After the sparkly revelry came to an abrupt end thanks to the pesky leak, many party goers tumbled outside to Sage circle only to have Public Safety a little while later encourage them to leave as an attempt to disperse people from around the circle. Residents of Stephenson that had ventured outside had to stress that the fact there were residents of Stephenson and that seemed to allow them to stay outside. However many students found themselves walking away thanks to the persistence of public safety. According to Resident Life, Public Safety was hoping to maintain the peace.

“Public Safety was probably trying to disperse people out of Sage Circle because it was close to quiet hours,” Jebb said.

Other minor hiccups of the evening included confusion surrounding the wristband system and party monitors dealing with bad tempered members of our community.

“The party monitors and Stephenson RD and RA did a great job planning and implementing the event,” Jebb said. “We were happy with how the party was managed, but despite our best efforts, we did still have some damages and incidents of disrespect of the monitors and hosts from students.”

Overall Sparkles and Spandex was as always a glittery spectacle of dancing and debauchery and many of the issues that seemed to have plagued the party last year did not arise, but even with the much more in-depth planning process there still managed to be damages to the host party location. This could potentially result in issues next year for whoever is in charge of planning the party and for the host location whether it be Stephenson or another dorm.

After all no dorm wants to host a party if the residents of that dorm are going to be slammed with community damage charges after the event. Another factor for Sparkles and Spandex in the future is whether or not its traditional location is large enough to maintain the number of attendees.

“Numbers of people will again be part of the conversation when planning the party next year,” Jebb said.

The real question though is what was the actual cause behind the Stephenson damage; was the restricted space of Stephenson the reason community damages such as the leaky radiator occurred or was it party going madness such as crowd surfing and jumping on radiators that caused the damage. If it’s the latter perhaps it is time that we as a community respect the spaces parties are hosted in and in turn respect the people living in that dorm who may or may not be participating in the party. If it was simply a matter of too many people in too small of a space then perhaps next year Sparkles and Spandex will be in a new location. Either way the residents of Stephenson will potentially be suffering for it.


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