NEWS

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May 16, 2006

Scav Hunt party in Cobb shut down

University officials shut down the Scavenger Hunt party in Cobb Hall on Friday evening because of the attendees’ unruly conduct, which included vomiting and urinating publicly in the building.

Officials from the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities (ORCSA) ended the party around 11 p.m.

“As the evening progressed, we did have increasing concerns about the behavior of some of the party attendees, and subsequently, the safety of other attendees,” said ORCSA director Sharlene Holly.

Jigna Shah, ORCSA associate director of student activities and advisor to Scav Hunt, made the decision to stop the party. After discussing the situation with Scav Hunt judges, she told teams to close their parties, which were held in classrooms on the second and fourth floors. ORCSA officials then began clearing the building.

Students attending the party were reportedly seen urinating and vomiting in Cobb hallways.

“We did have a couple reports of these behaviors, and we did take this into account when making the decision to end the party early,” Holly said.

Before the end of the party, several students were also asked to leave the building because of unruly conduct, Holly said.

Students said most partygoers behaved appropriately, despite uncomfortably cramped conditions.

“It was really crowded but rather tame,” said Charles Greenberg, a second-year in the College. “People weren’t as drunk as they usually are for frat parties.”

Other students, however, said the abundance of alcohol enabled students to become intoxicated and disruptive.

“There were a number of less sloshed folk, but the drunk ones were very, very drunk,” said Serra Jackman, a second-year in the College and captain of the Broadview team.

The University officially permitted no alcohol at the party, Holly said.

“It is not an event with approved alcohol and any alcohol seen by staff at the event is confiscated,” Holly said.

Some students complained about the scarcity of drinks, and no one denied that alcohol was being distributed. Each Scav Hunt team was allotted a classroom, which was usually set up as a bar.

“Each team served different drinks, so there was no one type, but rather an abundant variety,” Jackman said.

Some students also questioned the decision to hold the party in Cobb rather than in a building dedicated to student recreation, such as the Reynolds Club.

“I work at a place that does Saturday school on the first and second floors of Cobb,” said Ariana Barr, a second-year in the College. “I have no idea why anybody would have a party there the night before.”

Holly said Scav Hunt judges requested that the party be held in Cobb instead of on the main quad—its traditional location—because of inclement weather.

“Cobb Hall was selected because the Reynolds Club and Ida Noyes had prior bookings, and it is frequently used by student groups,” said Lisa Feiertag, a fourth-year in the College and Scav Hunt judge.

Students were mostly calm and orderly when the party was shut down, ORCSA officials said.

An ambulance was called later in the night after a partygoer was found passed out in a Reynolds Club bathroom.

The student, a visitor from another school, was taken to the emergency room with friends and a Chicago Police Department officer, said Greenberg, whose friend hosted the student. The student recovered quickly, however, and was released without receiving any medical attention.

Despite the problems, ORCSA officials have no immediate plans to change the event.

“Scav Hunt is a tradition at the U of C but has evolved over the years to include the Scav Hunt party,” Holly said. “We will evaluate how it went and work with the student organization for next year’s plan.”

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