As a result of inappropriate behavior at Thursday’s Senior Night at Jillian’s, the Senior Class Council determined that next week’s Senior Night at Buffalo Wild Wings will be canceled. A large number of students attended and stayed until close, resulting in overcrowding and rowdy behavior on the last bus run of the night.
When asked, Anne-Marie Algier, Director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities acknowledged that this is the first time Senior Night has ever been a problem. “It was very unexpected,” she said.
As it was 18 and over at Jillian’s, the event was also attended by a number of underclassmen. “[Senior Night] is not restricted to seniors,” Algier said. “As long as students are acting appropriately they can go.”
The amount of underclassmen added to the crowding issue, which led to problems toward the end of the night. “It was sheer numbers. It was just very packed. It can be exciting, but it can lead to problems,” Assistant Director of Student Activity Programs and adviser to the Senior Class Council Laura Ballou said.
Inside Jillian’s, the event went smoothly, supporting the large crowd of approximately 450 people. “As far as inside the club it was great. We opened up the dance club, people were dancing,” a manager at Jillian’s said. “It was smooth and fun. Everybody had a good time.”
The problem occurred, however, when students left and attempted to board the last bus back to campus at 2 a.m. The bus had been running continuously to and from campus since 10 p.m., and it was the last chance for students to return to River Campus.
According to Algier, the bus attempted to stop at a stop sign and was rushed by a large crowd, and was stopped at an intersection, unable to move.
A Rochester Police Department officer was found to control the crowd and brought them back to the sidewalk using a megaphone.Approximately 30 people were not able to board the bus and had to find alternate routes home. Cabs were called for the remaining students by Jillian’s.
The bus was stopped in the vicinity of Hill Court due to a disruption involving students opening the ventilation shaft and students then exited through the rear emergency exit doors.
Other rumors are circulating about what occurred on the bus as well. According to Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matt Burns, rumors of students urinating on the bus, rocking it and other inappropriate acts were heard. “I’ve heard the same thing you have,” he said.
The Senior Class Council holds that none of the rumors are accurate or true.
“There have been rumors about other incidents that happened, but they are unsubstantiated,” President of the Senior Class Council Beth Haber said.
Alcohol also had a role in the inappropriate behavior and Algier conceded to this. “I’m sure alcohol played a factor,” she said.
The bus company declined to comment, but noted a report had been submitted to UR Parking Violations after the incident. They maintained that they are letting UR handle it.
As a result of Thursday night’s events and behavior displayed by participants, the Senior Class Council met to discuss what steps should be taken to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
“We have taken measures to ensure this will not happen again and that there will be plenty of transportation options,” Haber said.
Solutions include calling cab companies and making sure they are present at the end of the night, and adding another bus run , until 2:30 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.
A letter of apology also is expected to be sent to the bus company by the council as well.
The main result, though, is the cancellation of the next Senior Night, which is hoped will encourage seniors and others who participate to think twice about their actions.
“People need to know the consequences for irresponsible behavior,” Algier said.
The cancellation will also give the council and the Student Activities Office time to plan out and implement the new solutions posed. “We need time also to make sure new things that are put in place work,” Algier said.
Burns also commented on the situation and whether the class council can be responsible in dealing with the situation.
“I’m in a waiting mode right now…so I’m waiting to see if the Senior Class Council gets the message that the university is sending out. They are as responsible as any other group,” he said.
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