by Mason Storrs
On Saturday, Feb. 11, Lambda Chi Alpha held their annual registered Bubble Party event. I had just left the bubble, where partygoers were having a great time dancing when someone ran up to security saying that an altercation had broken out. This conflict between two individuals started a scuffle that resulted in several people being harmed. A police officer had to intervene, escorting those involved out and ending the party early.
According to campus safety those who started the fight were not Millsaps students. The event sheds a negative light on having outsiders within our gates, and raises a question amongst the Millsaps community: are we doing enough to ensure safety on our campus? As a member of Kappa Sigma I have seen first-hand how fun it can be to have non-Millsaps students on campus, and at our parties. The extra number of people helps add to the energy of an event. However we have now seen the negative effects of allowing off campus visitors.
For registered parties, the school requires the host fraternity to have a table at the door where members are posted to ensure that everyone entering the party signs in. This system, aimed at being able to find out people’s names easily when things go wrong, is often rendered useless. This is because many going into the party sign in under imaginary names as a joke with friends. In order to be able to identify individuals more easily, in case something happens later, I think an identification check before signing in would ensure that those entering are actually who they claim to be. This may be more difficult for those working the event, but it would provide a way to keep track of individuals entering the party without completely changing the whole system. It is also required for the host fraternity to have a police officer from the city watching over things by the entrance to their house. There is typically only one officer, it seems like a big responsibility to have just one deputy to keep tabs on an, often large, group of young people. If more officers were hired for an event it would take stress off of the single person. It may also keep incidents like the fight from happening if there is a stronger presence of the law within the vicinity of the party-goers.
There is a stark difference between those invited by Millsaps students who are familiar with their adherence to rules, and those who just get word of the event or see posts about it on social media. Along with restricting entry at the gate to those without proper Millsaps identification we could develop a system of having students who plan on inviting someone in for the event pre-register their guests with the person in charge of allowing entry. In order to ensure that the visitors were invited by a student, they could be given some sort of item distinguishing that they have been registered to be allowed on campus.
It is shocking to hear word of an altercation like this happening on our pleasant campus, because it is not often that one on such a large scale happens. It is up to us to guarantee the safety of our own campus, and to make sure that our students, who work so hard to stay at Millsaps, do not have to compromise the fun they deserve because of people who have no business within our gates in the first place.