Cultural house curfew extended

Cultural houses such as the Native American Cultural Center have seen their curfews extended from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Cultural houses such as the Native American Cultural Center have seen their curfews extended from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Photo by Jacob Geiger.

Students socializing at Yale’s cultural houses will now be able to party for an extra hour.

Deans representing La Casa Cultural, the Asian American Cultural Center and the Afro-American Cultural Center decided in a meeting last month to extend the curfew of all cultural house events from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Previously, each cultural house could only hold one event a year past 1 a.m. — a curfew dictated by weekend “quiet hours” on campus. The extended event hours are part of a larger effort to provide a “safe, fun and non-alcoholic” social alternative lasting later into the night, said Luming Chen ’14, head coordinator of the AACC.

“Many of us around the University want to provide fun programming during the weekend that does not focus on alcohol,” said Rosalinda Garcia, La Casa’s cultural director. “The centers are known for having great dance parties in a dry environment.”

Events hosted by student groups may “on occasion and with special permission” continue until 2 a.m. provided that they are dry, Chen said. No student groups from the AACC have taken advantage of the new hours yet, she added.

The cultural centers have aimed to provide more “great dance parties” without alcohol this year, Garcia said. Since September, La Casa has held two parties lasting until 2 a.m. — Calentura, an annual event held Sept. 17, and a new Halloween party co-sponsored by the LGBTQ Cooperative. Both events were “packed,” said La Casa staff member Alicia Diaz ’15, adding that the second floor of La Casa had to be opened for the first time ever during Calentura to accommodate the large turnout. Two additional dry parties will be hosted at La Casa in the next two weekends, she said.

By holding events for students on weekend nights, cultural centers offer a sober alternative to parties at fraternities, said Karmen Cheung ’13, former head coordinator of the AACC.

Diaz said she does not believe the events will completely prevent drinking but thinks students will limit their alcohol intake by attending cultural center parties late into the night.

“If you drink and go to these parties, you have more time to get sober during the process versus going to [a] student’s party that may have alcohol [and more drinking],” she said.

This year, the cultural centers have increased efforts to provide smaller late night and weekend events as well, Garcia said. La Casa held its first “sleepover” on Oct. 20, staying open all night to allow students to socialize, watch movies and do homework, said La Casa staff member Amaris Olguin ’15.

The next cultural center party will occur on Dec. 1 at La Casa following the fall show of Sabrosura, Yale’s Latin dance team.

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