Partygoers Flee Cambridge Police Presence

Final Clubs see mass exodus after police officers ask that music be turned down

Many students fled from parties this weekend, after Cambridge police officers showed up at final club parties and asked club officials to keep the noise down.

On Friday night, Cambridge police officers interrupted a party at the Phoenix. Officers also arrived at parties at the Owl and the Delphic on Saturday night to ask that music be turned down.

One sophomore, granted anonymity by The Crimson because she was afraid to be associated with a party that had been interrupted by police, was at the Delphic Saturday night when the police arrived. Along with many other partygoers, the sophomore exited the club once aware of the police and was surprised by the extent of the police presence outside.

“It looked like every time I turned around, there was another cop car,” she said. “They were everywhere.”

She said that students’ heightened cautiousness of police presence may be because of the ease with which information can be found online.

“I think definitely in the digital age...no one wants to get in trouble with the police,” she said. “Everyone at Harvard is very career-minded. No one likes the cops.”

According to her, after word of the interruption spread, a few students shouted phrases like “fuck the police” and “it’s the 5-0,” a common slang for the police, while they made their way out the front door.

Another sophomore, who was also granted anonymity by The Crimson for fear of being implicated for attending the party, said she believes the student body has grown frustrated and worried about the perceived increase in police intervention.

“I think it’s definitely making people a lot more cautious and worried about going out,” she said. “I think people are just trying to be more careful and stay out of trouble.”

But as students become increasingly wary of police interference on campus, a sophomore male, granted anonymity by The Crimson because he too feared implication with the party, said that final club life may become restricted to members only—a move that he worries may make the Harvard social scene even more exclusive.

“Harvard social life is already pretty exclusive,” he said. “I feel like the stricter rules are trying to take something that’s already not great at Harvard...and make it even less accessible—and that’s the last thing that we need as a school.”

In the two weeks since the semester began, similar encounters with the Cambridge Police Department have led many students to fear that these two weekends represent a new trend for campus social life.

The anonymous sophomore male said that the recent crackdowns by CPD have frustrated him and his friends, who were looking forward to being punched by these clubs this year.

“We were excited for sophomore year, because we could finally be part of the clubs,” he said.

Another of the students wondered how the freshmen’s experience with part of the Harvard social scene would be affected.

“It was sad,” she said. “Usually the first week of school is fun. This year it was sort of dead.”

—Staff writer Julia K. Dean can be reached at juliadean@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Gina K. Hackett can be reached at ghackett@college.harvard.edu.

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