Overcrowded Mudd Foam Party Shut Down Early

Harvey Mudd College’s (HMC) Foam Party was shut down nearly two hours early Saturday after students waiting to gain entrance crashed through the barriers enclosing the event.

Earlier that night, several hundred students were barred from the party, resulting in a mad dash to get into the event by any means necessary.

“I jumped over the fences to get in,” David Sharfi PO ’16 said. “I had never done anything like that, and I kind of just went for it.”

Campus Safety officers managed the flow of traffic into the party and at 10:15 p.m. made an announcement that they would not be admitting any more students for the rest of the night.

“When the first announcement came out that they were stopping new people from coming in, that was the beginning of the end,” Sharfi said. “I think people got really fed up after a certain point and started getting pretty drastic.”

One student, who asked to remain anonymous, entered one of the HMC North Residence Hall rooms to reach Foam.

“I saw a light on in one of the rooms in the side of the dorm, so I went to the window and knocked on it and opened it a crack to see if anyone was in there,” the student said. “One of my friends pulled back the blinds to see if anyone was in there. The room was empty, so we just jumped in through the window onto the bed and went out the door, and then we were in the party,” the student said.

The party, originally scheduled to last from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., was stopped at approximately 11:20 p.m., when students waiting outside succeeded in pushing through the barriers. The music and lights were shut off as disgruntled students milled around the scene for about 20 minutes before funneling out.

“I think most of us were shocked in the first place that there was even such a long line,” Sharfi said. “I think the party was definitely canceled because of how the line was managed, and it could have been managed better.”

The Foam Party is an annual event at HMC that features music, dancing, lights and giant machines that produce large quantities of foam.

Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College Social Chair Liya Temin HM ’13 linked the Foam Party’s early closing to the increase in attendance.

“This year’s Foam Party was the exact same as in years past except for the increase in attendance. North Dorm set up the dorm with the same number of fences, the same number of security guards and the same amount of room on the dance floor,” Temin wrote in an e-mail to TSL. “Campus Safety was not allowing a continuous stream of students to enter because no one was leaving the party; once the courtyard was filled, there was no room for anyone else to join.”

Some students have said that the party planners should have organized the party better. 

“If they’re that worried about overcrowding, you could just have to go pick up a ticket beforehand or have them pre-register—something,” said the student who entered the North Residence Hall room. “They had a Facebook event that had over 1,000 people registered, and if they’re that worried about space, they should have realized a long time ago that that would be an issue.”

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