News Rewind: Decrease in Alcohol Violations at Le Moyne College Halloween Dance

News Rewind: Decrease in Alcohol Violations at Le Moyne College Halloween Dance

Alcohol violations at Le Moyne’s annual Halloween dance have decreased each year for the past three years, according to files recorded by Campus Life and Leadership. There were 26 alcohol violations reported in 2013, 22 reported in 2014, and 21 in 2015, according to Assistant Dean of Student Development Mark Godleski.

There are many factors that could have caused these numbers to decrease, but there is no real answer as to why these numbers have decreased.

“It’s hard to say,” said Director of Security Mark Petterelli. “We look at a lot of things, food, weather, past years incidents, distribution of wristbands, etc.”  

Petterelli believes weather plays a major role in the outcome of the Halloween Dance. “If it’s a beautiful day, if it’s a hot day, the hotter it is, if you’re drinking and you’re in the gym and you’re dancing, and it’s that much hotter, it takes effect faster,” said Petterelli.

“You tend to get dehydrated, so you get a lot more symptoms of alcohol intoxication.” As opposed to if the weather is dreary and rainy, oftentimes you don’t get the numbers, said Petterelli.

The weather for the Halloween Dance for the past two years has been recorded by Campus Security. In 2014 and 2015, the weather was between 40-45 degrees, cloudy, and breezy, according to Petterelli. He believes these temperatures support the decrease in violations.

Petterelli said that food is also an important factor the college looks at every year. For the past few years the campus has had the Cam’s Pizza truck come in and set up right outside the gym. The campus also supplies food in the resident halls, and they have water and snacks in the dance, said Petterelli.  

“The pizza has proven to be a good combination,” said Petterelli. “Students love pizza, everybody loves pizza. So they eat it, they’ve got food in their stomach, and so hopefully that helps balance out those who have chosen to drink.”

Along with the many factors that play a role, a lot of it is just getting people into the dance, said Petterelli.

“They used to do the distribution of wristbands in the little lobby of the Recreation Center, and it was just a mob scene.”  

Since 2014, the college has been distributing the wristbands within the resident halls prior to the dance, according to Student Life and Leadership. Distributing the wristbands in the resident halls, makes it so that students can come right in when they get to the dance rather than wait in a big line.

Student Life and Leadership also implemented a cut-off time when students can no longer enter the dance.

“We don’t want everybody bottleneck when we’ve got ‘em halfway through A-lot parking lot, trying to get in because they still have to get their bracelets,” said Petterelli. “Now, they can come right in.”

The Halloween Dance is a big event on campus and a lot of the students love it, according to Petterelli.

“You can’t control all the factors,” said Petterelli. “But you’re trying to control as many aspects as you can. Not to control the students, but to make it a safe event.”

Sophomore Amanda Chapman also believes that one of the most important aspects is to make the dance a safe event.

“I believe that continuing to educate students and reminding them that they may be punished for alcohol intoxication could help,” said Chapman. “But ultimately students are going to do what they want, so I think it’s a matter of making it a safe environment while realizing students are going to drink.”

In order for these numbers to continue to decrease, Godleski also agreed that the main goal is to make the dance a safe environment.

“I would say it’s the programming that happens beforehand. The work of the Campus Life and Leadership staff, the work of the Area Directors, the work of Security, and the work of LSPB in particular,” said Godleski. “They’ve been helpful with bystander intervention: see something, say something, do something. The personnel can be very crucial to helping allow for a safe and enjoyable dance.”