Moratorium on social events could end

Amanda Hoffman

A meeting has been called for Friday to decide whether the university should lift an informal “social event moratorium” established in January.

The moratorium banned on-campus events, especially dances, that don’t have approval from the university. The policy was never actually put in a document, said Greg Jarvie, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs. He had only told student organizations, no organization has asked for approval since then.

The policy came after problems at several on-campus dances, some including as many as 700 people. Fights broke out inside and outside of the event, Jarvie said. He said he couldn’t remember the dates or which organization sponsored the events.

Most of the problems, he said, were caused by non Kent State students and involved “inappropriate, unlawful” behavior.

He called the events “informal dances.” More formal dances have a guest list. “There’s a huge difference,” he said.

This fall, Jarvie sent a letter to the presidents and advisers of all student organizations, calling the Nov. 12 meeting. The letter, Jarvie said, came after several student organizations approached him, asking whether the policy might be changed or lifted.

The meeting is to discuss ways that might happen.

Timeka Rashid, director of the Center for Student Involvement, is helping organize the meeting.

“We get to find out what are your thoughts, concerns and means of communication to keep lines open with students,” Rashid said. “The meeting is based on putting our heads together and hopefully reaching a decision by the beginning of the spring semester.”

Jarvie said the university had tried to control the dances with ID checks, police and metal detectors. “With 500-plus students, control becomes a real issue,” he said.

Possible solutions might include Kent State student officials deciding who will attend the event, Jarvie said. Or he could have the sponsoring group itself in charge of monitoring the door and the dance.

“First and foremost, the university is concerned with safety for students and guests,” he said. “We had a string of dances that ended up with inappropriate behavior. We thought, obviously, for some reason we aren’t doing this right.

“We are very fortunate that we have not had more serious injuries with some of the stuff that’s gone on.”

If the moratorium ends and there are still problems, Jarvie said, the moratorium would go back into place.

Contact Amanda Hoffman at [email protected].