The annual Eurotrash party, which took place at Scripps College last Saturday, was shut down an hour early due to the behavior of students waiting in line to get into the event.
Eurotrash was held in the Scripps parking garage, and the entryway included a “fast-pass” line for students and guests who had obtained wristbands prior to the event, as well as a line for students who had not.
“Everything was going fine. People were having a great time and we were not overcrowded in the space,” said LaKisha Tillman, Scripps Hall Director and Student Activities Chair. “At about 11:30, people started pushing and it got to a point where they could have torn down the barricade. It was a scary scene.”
Tillman had hired a combination of Campus Safety officers and outside security guards—a total of 17 people—to work the event.
“I believe that our security officers followed orders and handled the situation to the best of their abilities,” said Social Activities Chair Rachael Ballard SC ’11. “Given that the alternatives were to call the local police or to use force—two options that would be utterly unacceptable at the Claremont Colleges—I believe they dealt appropriately with the chaos.”
Before shutting down the party, Tillman, Ballard, and Scripps 5C Events Chair Marta Bean SC ’14 tried to speak to the crowd with a microphone, started a chant encouraging the line to recede, and periodically stopped the music.
“I was personally down in the muck desperately begging the multitude to give people some space and to just wait their turn,” Ballard said. “We could have accommodated all the individuals waiting to get inside and we tried to tell everyone that, but I absolutely can’t allow for an event to continue when people get nasty and the situation becomes dangerous.”
Tillman said her primary concern is the safety of the students at the event. Her husband had to pull students who were wedged between the group and the barricade out of the line so that they would not get injured.
“I think that the people waiting in line got overexcited and eager to get in after seeing so many people in the garage,” Bean said.
Tillman said Eurotrash event planners will consider blocking the view to the party with a black tarp next time. They also plan to set up taller fencing and to move the entrance further away from the dance floor.
“I believe that our entry setup, security team, and venue certainly had the potential to accommodate all the attendees,” said Ballard, who has organized Eurotrash for three consecutive years. “That being said, knowing what I do now about the sheer force of will behind the mob, I think I would have had added another entry line to the event.”
Similar problems have occurred at multiple social events this academic year. At Pomona’s Harwood Halloween, which took place last weekend, Campus Safety called the Claremont Police Department for help in restraining students who wanted to get into the party after it reached capacity.
“This year is out of control,” said Tillman, who has been organizing parties at Scripps for five years. “Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer about why this year is unique. Nothing really surprises me about the 5Cs anymore, but this night was surprising … there were no more people in attendance on Saturday than there were last year.”
“I’d like to apologize to everyone who, through no fault of their own, were unable to enter or who had their evening cut short,” Ballard said. “As our campuses move forward into future party frontiers, we must ask ourselves: do we want to completely forgo large events, cutting out specific schools and disallowing guests? Or do we want to act like mature adults who can rage our faces off and still keep it together?”