When forced to change locations or cancel its event this weekend, Faux Pas said its “Dangerous Liaisons” party was too hot for Yale.
The French culture club almost cancelled its Saturday night event after the Yale Police Department informed members Friday afternoon that they could not use their planned location, the Graduate-Professional Student Center at Yale, or GPSCY.
Following a last-minute location change to Gotham Citi, however, the event went on, with nearly naked guests but a smaller attendance than initially planned.
Michael Robinson ’03, the co-founder and former president of Faux Pas, said the only notice he received of the cancellation came through an e-mail from Kristen Massimine GRD ’06, the director of Gryphon’s Pub at GPSCY. She sent the e-mail at 4:32 p.m. on Friday, and by the time Robinson read it at 5 p.m., he was unable to speak with anyone about the decision. Yale Police told him nothing could be done until Monday, he could not reach anyone in the Yale provost’s office, and Massimine said there was nothing she could do.
“I understand their point of view and I respect it immensely,” Robinson said. “I just wish they would have talked to us.”
Massimine’s e-mail described the Yale Police Department’s concern with underage drinking. While GPSCY had not had any problems with this in the past, she said, she felt obligated to comply with Yale Police and the provost’s office in the matter.
“The GPSCY currently enjoys an amicable working relationship with the Yale Police and the provost’s office,” Massimine wrote. “We cannot afford to jeopardize their confidence in us.”
Yale Police were not available for comment over the weekend.
Faux Pas held a party two years ago at GPSCY and aimed to control underage drinking by confining alcohol to the lower level, Gryphon’s Pub, where underage students were not allowed. There were no problems at that party, Robinson said, and Faux Pas intended to use the same plan this year.
At Gotham Citi, bouncers checked IDs at the door and used red wristbands to mark those over 21. The staff explained that they have experience with minors, since the club hosts an 18-plus event most Friday nights.
Only two people took advantage of the group’s offer to enter free if they came nude. Many women wore bras and pants and men bared their chests, and outfits ranged from a red plastic suit to a Playboy bunny costume. People danced to techno and hip-hop music on platforms and in front of designs projected on a screen.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Betty Yip ’05 said. “I like the losing of inhibitions.”
Robinson said 750 people attended Faux Pas’ event last year. In light of the last-minute change to a location less well known and further from campus, the organizers said they were hoping for a showing of about 500. While the actual number of attendees was 400, Robinson said he was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s a touching show of support by the undergraduates for Faux Pas,” Robinson said.
Faux Pas throws two parties each year as its major fundraisers. The club will probably hold the spring event at Gotham out of gratitude for its availability on such short notice, Robinson said.
“If this hadn’t been available, the party would have to have been cancelled,” Robinson said.
Those who attended were glad the event went on despite the complications.
“We’re really excited for it. We think it should be a good time,” Kathleen Reeves ’06 said. “Something like this is good for the soul.”