Quincy Bans Parties After False Fire Alarms

In an e-mail to residents entitled “False alarms and out of control parties” Senior Tutor Maria Trumpler said that no registered parties would be allowed this weekend in Quincy House.

Trumpler also announced the formation of a committee of students and assistant tutors to explore party regulations and to suggest revisions.

Both announcements came in response to the fire alarm pulled at 1:24 a.m. Sunday on the third floor of Quincy—the second confirmed false alarm this month, according to fire department records. The first false alarm was pulled at 2:46 a.m. on Sept. 9, during a party on the sixth floor.

“The thing that really worries me is safety.... It’s not a joke,” new Quincy House Master Robert P. Kirshner said. Kirshner said the time off from parties will allow for discussion of the issue.

“This does not mean that people can’t smile, laugh or play music this weekend,” Kirshner added. “We’re just not having the big parties that seem to be related to the problem.”

Specifically, the House is not allowing registered parties, which according to current regulations are those with more than 30 guests or those with a keg.

Brian R. Smith ’02, a resident of Quincy house and an Undergraduate Council member who has been working to extend party hours, admits that better party management by students is necessary. But he does not agree with the regulations for this weekend.

“Cancelling parties for a three-day weekend isn’t exactly the answer,” said Smith, whose roommates had been planning to throw a party this Sunday.

While some students might disagree with the restrictions this weekend, others agree that some change does need to occur.

Quincy House Committee Member Mark E. Lee ’01-’02 said that the fire alarm did not surprise him because of the large parties that were being held on both the third and sixth floor on Saturday night.

“I think the regulations are very fair,” Lee said. “They want to take this weekend as a break to determine if party policies are adequate considering the extreme spirit Quincy students have this year.”

Lee will serve on the committee to investigate changes in the current party structure and said that he thinks that there needs to be more manageable parties, not necessarily fewer parties in Quincy.

Trumpler said the committee might consider requiring deposits for parties in case hallways are left dirty, requiring stricter door monitoring and limiting both the number of parties per suite and per floor.

Trumpler reported that there were two additional false alarms this school year. There were no fires, but House officials say they don’t suspect those alarms were triggered intentionally.

—Staff writer Hannah E. Kenser can be reached at kenser@fas.harvard.edu.