Many students report being evicted from Sunday’s Winter Formal co-hosted by five Houses at the House of Blues for allegedly appearing intoxicated, according to House Committee co-chairs and student emails over House lists.
The formal event—including Cabot, Currier, Dunster, Leverett, and Quincy Houses—sold out all 1,300 tickets within two hours, according to Quincy House Committee Co-Chair Ling Lin ’12.
But before 10 p.m. on Sunday evening, student complaints about unfair security constraints began to make their way over House email lists.
Lin—who helped run the event—said that some, but not all, of the complaints are valid.
“They fall in two buckets: legitimate complaints and non-legitimate complaints,” said Lin, also an associate design editor of The Crimson.
Some students under the age of 21 arrived intoxicated and possessed fake IDs, which Lin said was adequate grounds for getting kicked out.
“We assumed people wouldn’t try to break the law,” she said.
But others were kicked out of the formal without heavy intoxication.
“I do know some people who got kicked out who definitely weren’t consuming alcohol and were totally rational,” said Dunster House Committee Co-Chair Alissa N. Changala ’13, adding that others were “out of control” and were deservedly evicted from the event.
In one incident Lin referenced, two women were not admitted to formal for being “kinda clutzy in heels,” although the two had not consumed alcohol that evening.
“I don’t drink,” said one of the individuals, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue. “I’ve never had a drink at Harvard.” When she stepped out of line to adjust one of her shoes, a House of Blues bouncer approached, asked if she had been drinking, and examined her ID.
“It’s unfortunate that the House of Blues was so strict and that people may have been wrongfully kicked out, but I don’t think I’m in a position to say whether the House of Blues was right or wrong,” Changala said.
At least two students sent emails over Quincy’s email list demanding refunds for the night.
Lin plans to speak with the House of Blues on Wednesday to see if vouchers can be offered to the individuals who were evicted, but she firmly said that no cash refunds will be provided.
“I know that security was pretty strict at the dance and there were some complaints about that, but I think with the House of Blues’ liability issues it’s understandable,” Changala said.
Both Changala and Lin also noted the high proportion of formal attendees who were under 21, which meant the House of Blues had to be especially vigilant about underage drinking.
Despite the complaints, Lin said she was extraordinarily happy with how the formal went.
“Obviously people are going to talk about things that went wrong over things that went right,” Lin said.
The two expressed their satisfaction with the event and its popularity, and said that they hope that similar inter-House events will take place in the future.
—Staff writer Amy Q. Friedman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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