Like many of Wellesley’s other open-campus parties such as Remix, Tau Zeta Epsilon’s (TZE) annual White Party on Saturday, Feb. 27 drew a large number of students from other schools to Wellesley’s campus. Wellesley’s open-campus parties often attract many students from other campuses, leading some students to take precautionary measures.
Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas ’18, a Resident Assistan on the first floor of Beebe, says that although she hasnt’t had any specific incidents involving students from other campuses, she does prepare on the nights of these parties.
“Security concerns have not been prominent for me personally, but I do close the double doors at the end of the hall when there’s a lot of off-campus people in the building so that they recognize there’s a region they shouldn’t be in. Although, during Remix, I did tell my residents to lock their doors since that tends to be the largest party with the most wanderers,” Gonzalez-Bonillas said.
Campus Police also plans ahead on the nights of these parties so that they are prepared for any circumstances, said Chief of Police Lisa Barbin.
“One of the precautions we take is to determine the anticipated size of the crowd and assign the appropriate level of campus police and outside support. Campus police staffs any parties where alcohol is served. If the party is of the size of Remix or Block Party, we often hire an outside security company to assist with crowd control and make sure that an event does not exceed capacity. […] We think through all possible scenarios, which includes the possibility of students and/or visitors in need of medical attention, to ensure a plan and resources are in place so we can respond immediately,” Barbin said.
However, not all open-campus parties attract such a large number of off-campus guests. Parties like Remix and White Party are bigger, with Remix drawing a crowd of about 900. But it depends on the party, said Zeta Alpha (ZA) Co-President Shruti Tadepalli ’16. ZA’s party is only about 80 people, and the off-campus students are often friends of Wellesley’s students.
“Usually the off-campus guests will at least know one person. I don’t really know how often we get random people that don’t know anyone. I don’t know if that really happens. Because our party is not big at all. It’s not like White Party. We’ve been holding it in the pub the last couple of semesters. It’s more intimate,” Tadepalli said.
There have been incidents in the past of male students on campus yelling inappropriate things at Wellesley students, usually after large parties like Remix. Tadepalli said that this has not been a problem at ZA’s recent parties because of the intimate setting.
“[When off-campus guests come to our party, they] know that they’re not coming just to get some. I think that with Remix, because it’s such a large party, we just get so many people that come. We get a lot wider range of types of off-campus [visitors,] and there are many many off-campus people who come who are perfectly respectful and just have fun. But then there’s always those crazy dudes who yell things. I think that’s because Remix is not really an intimate setting at all. It’s a ‘get as many people as possible and have a rager’ type mindset, which is very different from what we do at our party,” Tadepalli said.
Rae Oakley ’16, President of TZE, preferred not to comment on this issue.
The behavior of party guests often depends on the type of party. At ZA’s party, for example, the focus is solely on ZA’s applicants, said ZA Co-President Mary Lou Ferguson ’16.
“Our party is the applicant party. So it’s an unofficial part of the application process. So the members are really focused on getting to know the applicants, and I think that that kind of shifts it a little bit because then the party is about the applicants. We’re, almost to a fault, uninterested in off-campus partygoers,” Ferguson said.
But Barbin says that as long as organizations at Wellesley hold open-campus parties, Campus Police is prepared to protect its students from any possible safety concerns.
“The role of campus police is to ensure the safety of our students and visitors to Wellesley College. We are prepared to assist anybody who comes to us for help. We want students to have fun, stay safe, and know they can come to us as a resource. Our priority is always our students and their well-being,” Barbin said.