Halloween party generally successful, space still an issue

Photo by Angelina Abitino
Photo by Angelina Abitino
Photo by Angelina Abitino

Three calls were made from the college to the Swarthmore Borough Police Department during the Halloween party last Saturday.

Although Worth Health Center has a policy against sharing detailed information regarding student use of its resources, director Beth Kotarski wrote in an email that Saturday marked no “dramatic changes” in student check-ins from years past. According to Borough Police Chief Brian Craig, two of the three calls made were related to alcohol poisoning. One of the students who experienced alcohol poisoning was under 21, and received a citation for underage drinking. The third call was made regarding an instance of disorderly conduct, and that call also resulted in a citation.

Unlike years past, the Halloween party was held not in Sharples, but in Clothier Hall. Besides cost, the reasons given by the Social Affairs Committee for this change were the variety of spaces that Clothier would offer. In addition to multiple dance floors in Upper Tarble and Paces, the game room was used as a space for people to relax and collect themselves without having to leave a warm, well-lit space.

“The community reaction was far better than I expected,” said Michael Wheeler ’16, a SWAT Team manager at the party, “because I know people were complaining about it not being in Sharples, there being different party spaces, and the wristband system and stuff like that. But ultimately it went fine. Once people were in they didn’t really care; they enjoyed the venue.”

According to Wheeler, several of the safety measures planned for the party worked out as intended. the game room was used by people seeking water and respite “pretty much as soon as there was a line at the door,” Wheeler said.

Furthermore, barricades kept anyone from going over one of the Tarble balconies, and moving the sound equipment to the risers avoided potentially dangerous structural problems in Upper Tarble.

“Particularly, Swat team’s engagement with [Public Safety] was better than it’s ever been in the past,” Wheeler added. “Generally there’s a disconnect between the two of us, and we’re sort of operating in parallel but not really helping each other that much. But this time it was very fluid.”

Despite the party’s successes, Wheeler noted that Paces was left mostly unused throughout the night. Besides this excess space, the only potential drawback to Clothier Hall was the number of entrances. Between SWAT Team and Public Safety, however, Wheeler said that people trying to sneak in was never a problem.

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