Police shutdown of SG black light party rumors not true

Austin Loukas

Christine Lee, News Editor

This year’s week-long series of activities leading to Homecoming started off with a bang with a black light party on Monday night.

However, the fun appeared to be short-lived as the loud music stopped 30 minutes before it was supposed to at 11 p.m. All week rumors had spread that Wilkes-Barre police were called to break up the party.

This rumor later changed when Student Government corresponding secretary Amber Konopka posted in the Homecoming events pages on Facebook saying there was no police involvement other than a call placed to Public Safety from them.

But Konopka and Public Safety manager Jerry Rebo said this is entirely not true.

Konopka explained that during the black light party, she was approached several times by Public Safety about the noise level. The police were never involved nor were on campus.

Rebo corroborated on Konopka’s report, explaining the police did not come, were not called and they did not call Public Safety. He said Public Safety received two calls from people complaining about the noise from the party.

“We got two complaints at Public Safety: one was from a student on South Street saying she could not study for an exam. We dispatched Supervisor Miller and he just advised them of what the call was and they said fine, we’ll try to keep it down,” Rebo said. “Second call was after 10 and that was from the library and Officer Patterson went there and told them.”

Rebo said these were the only calls Public Safety received, and after the second officer arrived Konopka decided to shut the party down voluntarily. Rebo said she was not advised or ordered to shut the party down.

Rebo noted the officers dispatched to the party observed no problems and the students attending were well-behaved, and just that the music was too loud for the time of night. He said Public Safety was aware of the party occurring.

“What the officers said was it was very well-run and the students that were there were very well-behaved,” Rebo said.

Konopka said the noise complaints were understandable because the party occurred on a Monday night when most students are studying. However, she said SG is very responsive to the needs of students.

“We’re trying to branch out and do different events so that we can accommodate the wants of all the students on campus so this is just a trial and error (event),” Konopka said. “This hasn’t been done on campus yet so being that we did have such a large crowd there that night, it shows that students did have a good time, they did enjoy themselves.”

Associate dean of student development Phil Ruthkosky said whenever there are events on campus, student leaders know to be cognoscente of classes and students studying and act accordingly. He said these incidents have happened before but are generally not a problem.

“It’s never been an issue because once an instructor or a student informs Public Safety that the noise is too much, we’re able to make an immediate adjustment,” Ruthkosky said. “It’s not a pervasive problem, but when it does (occur), it’s addressed pretty immediately.”

Ruthkosky explained when events run by SG or Student Development are organized, open communication is expected between facilities, Student Development and Public Safety to make sure no problems are encountered.

“As long as they have that open communication, talking to facilities, talking to public safety about what events are going on, that tends to alleviate any problems,” Ruthkosky said

Ruthkosky said that because these incidents never occur very often, there is no need for drastic steps on the part of Student Development.

SG president Kris Rivers said despite the calls made to Public Safety, the event had a great turnout.

“It was a fun event for students on a Monday night, we normally don’t have events like that on a Monday night,” Rivers said. “The greenway was definitely hopping.”

About 100 students attended the party including freshman mechanical engineering major Sam Schumacher attended the black light party and said she had a great time.

“A lot of people didn’t think it was going to be as much fun, seeing how small the tent was, but I had a lot of fun because I think that with the people that were there, it made it worthwhile,” Schumacher said.