Mods parties temporarily prohibited by DCL
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 22:10
Students searching for parties in the Foster Mods last weekend came away disappointed as the Department of Community Living temporarily ceased party registration in the Mods following an unprecedented spike in incident reports and complaints about crowds and excessive noise. Party registration has since been reinstituted, and the process has not undergone any changes.
An email to students living in the Mods sent by Community Development Coordinator George Marshall, Jr. cited “heightened activity of parties [the previous two] weekends … which caused overcrowding, excessive noise, public drinking, and underage alcohol transports.”
Recent police reports include incidents of large crowds needing to be dispersed in the Mods, specifically on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 26.
In an interview with the Justice, Director of Community Living Erika Lamarre described an environment in which many students, especially first-years and sophomores, attend parties at the Mods uninvited and contribute to issues of overcrowding and underage drinking.
“I think that students who are new to Brandeis … go looking for … social life and their social niche, and they haven’t found it yet, [and they] tend to gravitate to places where they think partying is going on, and then that contributes to the crowds.”
In an email to the Justice, East Quad CDC Stephanie Crane wrote that the responsibility for safety at parties on campus is shared.
“Underage consumption is never something that is permissible, so students who are underage need to be responsible for their own actions and make smart choices,” she wrote. “However, on the flip side of that, hosts of parties need to be responsible for knowing who they are admitting to their parties and who they are serving alcohol or allowing to drink at these gatherings.”
Crane had previously sent an email to all East Quad residents asking underage students to “avoid off-campus and on-campus student parties.”
The DCL requires students who are interested in hosting a party on campus to fill out a party registration form. Parties that are not registered can be broken up at any time, according to Lamarre, while parties that are registered will usually be allowed to continue until quiet hours start, which is 1 a.m. on weekends.
The form, which is available online or in the DCL office, asks for information such as the names of hosts, estimated attendance and type and quantity of alcohol being served.
Lamarre praised the current system for party registration, which she has helped work on in her seven years here.
“I love that conversations are happening with party hosts and administration, to just realistically talk about how to have a successful party,” she said. “To me, those conversations are the best part of the whole thing. It’s just us giving some really solid advice about how to avoid trouble, have a good time and have a successful party.”
She said that the goal of the registration process is to reduce the negative consequences of parties and make the registration process accessible to students who want to host. She added that the process is always being improved and that in recent years there have been changes made to clarify expectations and streamline the process.
Discussions are ongoing about how to make the process even more efficient and how to avoid problems like the ones seen in past weeks. Lamarre said that Marshall, the Community Advisors in the Mods, Mods Senator Nicholas Polanco ’13 (who could not be reached for comment) and campus police have all been involved in both formal and informal meetings and conversations and that all parties have been able to express their concerns and talk about solutions.
One potential solution that Lamarre mentioned was making sure that CDCs and CAs, who know residents personally, are more actively involved before campus police have to be brought into a situation, because those DCL officials “have a different relationship” with residents than the campus police.
“I think that not letting us have parties was … annoying for people who wanted to have them, but it was a good way to calm things down,” said Danna Pinto ’13 in an interview with the Justice. “It did a little bit of its job, but a lot needs to be done.”
Crane concluded her email by writing that “Overall, this is a community issue and will take the community to be able to creatively resolve any lingering issues with parties occurring both on and off campus.”
—Jeffrey Boxer contributed reporting.