Trial Plan Replaces Events MoratoriumBy M. F. Al-Salem
A pilot program setting new guidelines and precautionary measures for large on-campus parties has been initiated by the Office of Residence and Campus Activities and other administrative officials.
These measures in effect reverse the party ban, which was implemented in December as a response to a shooting outside Walker Memorial after a large party.
The efficiency of the new measures will be appraised by how smoothly the parties go, said Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin. "There may be some things we have to rework."
In the effort to reinstate parties while maintaining safety, old measures such as Campus Police presence were re-emphasized, and new preventive measures were included.
Large events can be held on-campus, but Walker Memorial is "off line" until security improvements such as locks on windows are added, said Associate Dean for Residence and Campus Activities Margaret A. Jablonski.
Some of the new measures include reducing the number of events that require metal detectors to two events on any night. This comes as an extension of an established rule to "address the problem of weapons being brought onto the MIT campus during student social events," Glavin said.
Admission to parties will be closed at least one hour before the event itself ends, according to the pilot program proposal.
"It is important to get a handle on outsiders that came to MIT events," Glavin said. Thus, rules for publicity and advertising will be more stringent.
The proposal specified that the use of metal detectors at the party must be noted on advertising posters, as well as the time when admission to the event will be closed.
The program also suggested changes in ticketing procedures as a means of restricting entry to parties. Two options were presented: to sell tickets at a location separate from the point of entry, and to charge different prices for tickets purchased in advance and at the door. Some student groups had objected to the idea of advanced ticket sales.
The total number of tickets sold for the event is not to exceed the capacity of the location, allowing for predictable variations in attendance flow, according to the proposal.
Wristbands are to replace hand stamping as a means of identifying guests who have been admitted to the event. "Stamping has been a problem - wristbands have just worked must better," Glavin said.
After each large party, the procedures for that event will be evaluated, according to the proposal.
In addition to these new requirements, the program advises measures to increase the organizer's role in maintaining security. Party organizers should be easily recognized throughout the event and should check identification from partygoers diligently and systematically.
The plan outlines dispersion techniques that encourage organizers to provide enough transportation such as taxis and to end the party in a more organized fashion. The incident at Walker occurred "after the function was over," Glavin said. Often the trouble is not the party but what happens after a party is over, she said.
Students find policy reasonable
Many of the more original ideas were suggested by students at an open meeting that brought the student groups together with the administrative members, Glavin said.
"Student groups have never been the problem," Glavin said. "In particular the idea of the organizers calling the transportation before the end of the party was offered by the students."
"The students were a significant influence" in limiting the severity of some of the restrictions, Jablonski said.
"I hope the new policy is enforced equally and for all groups" said Damon W. Suden '99, a member of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Friends at MIT, the first group affected by the moratorium on large events.
Groups affected by the policy were content that an agreement was reached but a little wary of whether the policies could be carried out, Suden said.
"It is a reasonable policy, the main thing that bothers me is that Walker is out," said Association of Student Activities President Douglas K. Wyatt '96. "I would rather they never had the moratorium. A lot of groups got hurt because their parties were cancelled."
When asked when the next events were to be held, "We just have to get the paperwork flowing," Jablonski said.