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RingComm disappointed by alcohol discovered at 2015 Premiere

As hundreds of excited sophomores poured out of Kresge Auditorium after Ring Premiere on February 15, some left without enjoying the entire event. Instead, they had been in the bathroom vomiting.

According to Ring Committee (RingComm) Chair Matthew T. Abel ’15, “The cleaning staff found alcohol containers in Kresge Auditorium. Additionally, vomit was found in the lobby and in the ladies’ restroom.” The Ring Committee said they were unaware of alcohol being brought onto the grounds, and did not take precautions. “We didn’t consider that people would bring alcohol into Kresge,” said Abel.

Joel Pettigrew, program Ccordinator for student activities and event management, who works closely with class councils and RingComm, expressed understanding that students would want to have fun at the event. Pettigrew and Leah Flynn, assistant director for student leadership and engagement from the Student Activities Office (SAO), said they “reflected on the culture of the event” after the incident. They emphasized that they are most concerned with keeping the tradition of Ring Premiere as an event for students to enjoy the work RingComm has put into designing their Brass Rat.

RingComm and the Student Activities Office have already met to discuss the situation. They focused on what future committees could do to ensure a “safe and respectful environment” for future premieres, according to Pettigrew. Abel said, “Moving forward, the SAO will be working with Ring Committees to appropriately staff and monitor future Ring Premieres.” Flynn also expressed a need for future Ring Committees to set expectations of conduct for the event and make them known to the entire class beforehand.

Pettigrew emphasized that the SAO does not place any blame on RingComm, and that both the SAO and RingComm have expressed disappointment in the behavior exhibited at Ring Premiere. Flynn and Pettigrew said they felt that the students’ behavior at Premiere was disrespectful to the Ring Committee and to MIT, especially after “Ring Committee [had] put so much work into planning the event for their class.”

In the future, the SAO will work to help take some of the burden of planning and administration of the event off RingComm.

Isabella C. Wei