Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This year the Social Activities Committee will host the annual Halloween Party in Sharples on Saturday November 1st. In the past the Halloween Party has been held in the resident dorms of Mary Lyons and in Upper Tarble and Paces, but this year they decided to try a new location due to student concerns.
“It was the decision of the ML RAs and residents not to have the party in ML this year,” commented SAC Co-Director Rebecca Commito ’10. “[Sharples] was proposed by the deans….and only a few days ago was it approved by those who are responsible for Sharples.”
In the past, Halloween parties in ML have resulted in trashed facilities and disgruntled ML residents, who had to clean up afterwards. Last year’s Halloween party in Upper Tarble and Paces had a student rushed to the hospital after falling down a flight of stairs from Upper Tarble. Although students have every right to enjoy themselves, SAC wants to remind students to respect the facilities, especially public places we use each day, and that it is “definitely not acceptable to ‘trash’ Sharples.”
This Halloween will not be a dry party, and donations will be accepted from the student body for what cannot be funded through SAC. There will be a large dance area accompanied by a bar where alcohol will be served and a sitting area. While the party has been packed in past locations, Sharples offers much more room for mingling to satisfy the masses.
Some students will remember that the last time there was a party in Sharples, one student threw a table on another student’s head and there were other damages. Asked about why Sharples was being used again three years later, Dean of Students Myrt Westphal said, “We would like to use Sharples more for student events and are trying to find a way to make it safe and a good space… the incident you mentioned was only one reason the space was not used for social events in recent years. There is also the concern about damage, theft and the ability to have the space back in service for the next meal. Folks are working on these issues so the place can be better utilized for student life.”
Paury Flowers, assistant Coordinator of Student Activities, said that all the usual precautions would be taken—Party Associates, hosting Student Council and SAC members keeping an eye to crowd control, and Public Safety on alert, and that “the most important thing I think I could communicate is that students attending this party need to understand that they have a basic responsibility as a part of this community not just to take care of themselves but to look out for each other.”
As for SAC, Commito says they are very excited to host the party in a new place, and feels that Sharples is “a perfect space to decorate for Halloween.”
Depending on the success of this year’s festivities, perhaps the Halloween party can finally settle down in a fixed location.
Additional reporting by Lauren Stokes.