Emily Kochanek – 1851 Staff
The annual Lasell College Radio Creeps N’ Ghouls dance, hosted in de Witt Hall on Halloween, has been shrouded in rumors after a riotous night. An estimated 753 students, including their off-campus guests, attended the dance that resulted in a mass evacuation.
“It was absolute madness,” said Kate Davis, a junior working at the entrance. “Everyone kept mobbing the front table rather than forming an actual line… It was near impossible for us to handle a mob of inebriated college kids that had no idea what they were doing.”
According to Justin Miller, Lasell College Radio’s Station Manager, at 11 p.m. campus police had to close the doors to 200-300 people. Elizabeth Haela, a junior, said she waited for 20 minutes before reaching the front only to see the doors were closed. Students became angry and one responded by breaking a window in Winslow and two girls, a current and former student, pulled a fire alarm.
“I saw a kid in a sweater get angry, there was two cops in front of him,” said Haela. “He didn’t intentionally do it but in his rage… he was standing under the window [and] he punched the window in… and it completely shattered.”
Campus police immediately apprehended the perpetrators. “Both the person who pulled the fire alarm and the person who broke the window will be prosecuted in court,” said Chief of Campus Police, Ed Conlin.
Students on the dance floor were forced to leave when the fire alarm was pulled. Diane Coon, a junior in attendance, said, “As we exited the doors more officers waited for us and were very aggressive. Everyone was confused and it seemed like the police had no answers.”
Students were met outside the dance by eight Newton police cars and three fire trucks. Although students have reported police aggression, Conlin and Miller deny such accusations.
On Friday, November 2, Miller went on LCR “to personally reach out to students” and apologize for what happened. He received a positive response through email, Twitter, and Facebook with constructive criticism.
In the future, Miller plans to sell tickets to “ensure that each Lasell student who comes can get in,” and prohibit off campus guests. In addition, there will still be metal detectors for safety, dances will still be held in de Witt, and more radio staff will be working at the front table.
“Doing our actual job of collecting the money, getting their names down, and stamping their hands was almost a secondary priority,” said Davis. Miller said that the Emergency Text Messaging System, which notified students the dance was still on after it had been canceled previously due to power outages, ended up being an unplanned problem.
“I strongly feel that the college should not have used the emergency text system,” said Miller. “[The radio staff was not expecting the] extra promotion we probably didn’t need [due to the massive text],” said Miller.
Although the night was tainted with problems, Miller was still glad they held the dance instead of postponing it due to Hurricane Sandy. “Even if we had to use generator power… I still wanted to have [it],” he said. “It would have been a letdown to students to go to a Halloween dance in November.”