Safety Dance not so safe

Approximately 2,000 students attended this year’s Safety Dance. Unfortunately, the night did not end well for all the partygoers.
Approximately 2,000 students attended this year’s Safety Dance. Unfortunately, the night did not end well for all the partygoers. Photo by Colin Ross.

Friday night’s Safety Dance in Commons saw more attendees than last year, but more of those attendees also wound up at medical facilities across campus.

Silliman College Master Judith Krauss, whose college organized the ’80s-themed dance, called the event a “huge success” and estimated that 2,000 students attended, up from 1,500 last year. But, she said she was unhappy that by the end of the night at least eight students were transported to medical facilities for alcohol-related reasons. Although Krauss said she does not know how many students were hospitalized in the past, she said she believes the number is higher this year.

Krauss said the culprit was clear: “Pre-gaming.”

“I wish I knew how to encourage people to drink less, but I don’t know what the answer is,” she said.

Krauss said Sunday that Silliman officials will meet today to assess what happened at the dance and discuss possible changes for next year. Still, in recent years, the Safety Dance has been successful, Silliman officials said last week, and not many changes were made from how the dance was set up last year.

“We’ve got it down to a science,” Krauss told the News last week.

Participants of this year’s Safety Dance had mixed feelings. The half-dozen student attendees interviewed Sunday night said the event was a night of partying and dancing — interrupted by the occasional health hazard.

During the middle of the dance, Yale police closed off the men’s restroom in the basement below Commons to transport a Safety Dance attendee out of the rotunda on a stretcher. Ambulance lights could be seen from the exits of the dance floor.

Still, some lighter forms of play also occurred; one student said a form of bladderball briefly emerged on the Commons dance floor.

“At one point, somebody started tossing around a big multi-colored beach volleyball,” William Desmond ’12 said. “It hit plenty of people on the head.”

Katelyn Martin ’12 said she enjoyed dancing in her ’80s getup.

“Except at one point,” she added. “I stepped in vomit on the dance floor. It was kind of a downer.”

This coming Saturday, Halloween, will feature Pierson College’s Inferno, another popular college-sponsored party.

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