We’ve all been there: hanging out with your buddies in someone’s room, waiting to go to one of the many ludicrously-themed 5C parties where the only limits are your imagination. You can go swimming in foam resembling the froth emitted from the mouth of a rabid dog; get your dance on while dodging chunks of ice being thrown at you with only the most benevolent of intentions; take a tour of a Harvey Mudd College dorm and sample all of the alcoholic treats the residents can trick you with; or dress up in clothing that, despite only covering a paltry surface area of your body, still manages to be too tight, in the spirit of a European nightclub. The possibilities are endless—assuming you actually manage to get in.
And so, whilst we “relax” in the company of our beloved friends, our party comrades with whom we will soon enter into the infernally hypersexed, damply claustrophobic and decibel-blasting combative arena that is a 5C party, we are faced with the eternal question: What time do we leave the dorm? Nobody wants to be one of the first people at the party—those poor souls who have to actively dictate the movements of their own body for lack of the guidance of the convulsing crowd; nor does anyone want to miss the pinnacle of the aforementioned revelry. If you consider the time span of the party as a bell curve, you really want to shoot for arriving around that first inflection point, when there’s a sizable crowd whose energy you can easily feed off of, but well before the contents of the fire extinguisher are released onto the dance floor. First-years, if you didn’t follow my last allusion, ask someone in another grade and they’ll tell you about a magical time when Foam was actually fun and didn’t end at 11 p.m.
Now, while the dangers of arriving too early to a party are marginal, a considerable portion of the 5C population discovered at Foam on Saturday night the more devastating consequences of arriving too late. Too many people showed up too late for a venue that proved too small. Many students, being of the ambitious and self-advocating type that we have aplenty here at the 5Cs, did not turn around in lost hope but instead attempted to “charm” Campus Safety into allowing passage. Their efforts might have proven fruitful, too, had the Campus Safety personnel not been deafened by the sheer multitude of pleas. Some of the more adventurous types bypassed flattery and instead went for the siege approach, attempting to scale the fence barriers put in place at the back of the dorm. These souls were met in true medieval fashion by the keepers of North Dorm, who rained down laundry detergent and verbal pleas upon the largely unsuccessful invaders.
Despite my tone, the problem of overcrowding is a serious one. The last thing we want as a community is for these events—which are supposed to be joyous—to become memorable not because your friend acted like a fool, but because they were trampled in an overzealous mob and seriously injured. We also need to realize that the restrictive spatial limitation that was Foam’s downfall on Saturday creates the intimate environment that enhances these events for many. That being said, why couldn’t the group responsible for throwing the party provide some sort of alternative entertainment in the area outside the dance floor? If they had games or food out in the surrounding area to distract the masses that are denied entrance to the party proper, it would definitely lighten the burden placed on Campus Safety at these events and allow the people in the party to keep on keeping on. Nobody wins when Foam gets shut down at 11 p.m.