The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 24.0°F | A Few Clouds

Student groups lobby for later party closings

By Brian Rosenberg

Ross M. Okamura '91 and Fritz N. Francis '92 recently presented Campus Police Chief Anne P. Glavin with a proposal to allow student events held in the Julius A. Stratton Student Center and Walker Memorial to remain open later than 12:30 am. The proposal came as a result of dissatisfaction with the current closing time by many student groups.

The proposal, which would affect closing times for events at Morss Hall, La Sala de Puerto Rico, and Lobdell Court, would allow groups to choose between two systems. Either the doors would remain open until the 12:30 am closing, or the doors would close at 12:00 midnight, and the event would be allowed to continue until 1:30 am.

The proposal would require posters for events to state when the doors close, in order to avoid misunderstandings.

Representatives of the Undergraduate Association Executive Board, the Chinese Students' Club, the Korean Students' Association, the International Students Association, the Association of Indian Americans, GAMIT, the Student Center Committee, and Chocolate City have all signed the proposal.

The proposal was also signed by representatives of Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Delta Sigma Theta, all-black fraternities and sororities with members on campus.

12:30 am closing

prompted by Kresge shooting

The 12:30 am closing time was instituted as a "one year experiment" in November, Glavin said. Before then, student events in these locations could remain open until 2 am.

Glavin changed the closing time in response to a shooting incident outside the Student Center on September 30 ["Campus Police arrest 4 after shooting incident," Oct. 3]. That evening, a Boston man who was turned away from a party at the Student Center fired a shot at another man near Kresge Auditorium.

Okamura, who often works as a disc jockey at CSC and KSA parties, said "There has been a visible decrease in attendance" at these events since the policy was instituted.

"The lowered attendance causes financial problems for the clubs," he added.

"My position isn't arbitrary," Glavin said. "I have to weigh the adverse effects [of an early closing] on student groups against a raging public safety issue. I don't believe we can go back to 2 am closings."

"I'm going to review the proposal after Commencement. I'm not making any promises, but I'd like to find a middle road," she added.

Okamura and Francis say they'd like a decision before the beginning of the fall term. Glavin said she will "try to reevaluate things over the summer rather than waiting until November."

"I will probably look at [the proposal] as part of my year-end review, so I can see what the effects were," she said.

Decisions about the policy are made by Glavin, Dean for Student Affairs Shirley M. McBay, and Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56.

Francis, who lives in Chocolate City, said "the policy needs to be changed before [Residence/Orientation week] because a lot of organizations recruit members with parties" during that time.

Okamura and Francis began work on the proposal after a May 1 meeting with Glavin. Representatives from several student groups who use Walker and the Student Center attended, including KSA, CSC, Chocolate City, and the Undergraduate Association. At a smaller meeting on May 8, Okamura, Francis, and several other students set down the details of the proposal. "We wish someone had told us earlier [that the policy was open to input from students] so we could have gotten more support" for it, Okamura said.