"I definitely think that the party was stopped prematurely," Wilson Carroll '81, a resident of South House, said yesterday, referring to South House's November 18 toga party. Many South House students remain perplexed over the early closing of the heavily attended event.
University police ended the well advertised toga party several hours before the scheduled closing time of 1 a.m.
"The party inside was absolutely great, and the room was filled well below the legal limitation," South House resident Sam Money, a visiting undergraduate, said yesterday. He added that he thought that police might have planned to end the party early because "they were terrified something might happen."
"The police could have dispersed the crowd outside in lieu of ending the party inside," Money said.
"I required that three University police be present at the party," Archie C. Epps, dean of students, said yesterday. "But I thought it was important to try to hold the party because it was sort of a self-improvement measure on the part of South House," he added.
Dean Epps said that he only began to feel concerned that the event might get out of hand on the day of the party when "it appeared that everyone was going."
Many people outside awaiting admittance to Cabot Hall attempted to sneak into the building by removing screens in order to climb in the windows. This caused police and Dr. Warren E.C. Wacker, master of South House, to decide to end the party early.
"The people outside were near the point where they wouldn't do anything anyone told them to," Steven U. R. Winthrop '80 chairman of the South House committee said yesterday. "There was no way we could turn them away, and the only way to avoid trouble was to close down the party," he added.
Other South House residents present at the party felt that the danger presented by the crowd outside was blown out of proportion. Mark Sobil '80, who collected money at the door to the party, said that he had no trouble keeping the incoming crowd under control. "There was a steady stream of people coming in single file. Anytime I felt that it was too crowded I stood in the way so no one could get by me, and I had no problem."
"People were going as far as volunteering to show me I.D.'s" Sobil said.
Several plainclothes policemen appeared at the party early in the evening. "A very 'townie' looking man came in and I said to Master Wacker 'Should I follow him?,' and Wacker pulled me aside and told me that the man was a plainclothes policeman,'" Money said.
Saul L. Chafin, chief of University police said yesterday that the plainclothes police were not called to the scene by Wacker or the policemen already at the party.
"The extra police just happened to stop by the party," Chafin said. "They were on patrol and decided to help out when they saw how large the party had gotten," he added.
"The reason the party folded had nothing to do with what was going on inside," Winthrop said. "Pure and simple, it was due to what was going on outside. We couldn't even close the doors."
"For the two hours that it lasted, it was a great party, great people, great music. I was surprised and depressed when they ended it," Carroll said.