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Complaints of vandalism and rowdiness marred an otherwise successful model United Nations convention this weekend at the Park Plaza in Boston.
Carla Jones '84, director of delegate services for the convention said yesterday that loudness, waterfights, abuse of toilet paper, and "general partying" among the 1700 delegates caused many complaints from other guests staying at the hotel. Harvard's International Relations Council sponsored the 25th annual convention, which introduces students to international politics and diplomacy.
The assistant manager of the Park Plaza confirmed that guests registered "quite a few complaints" about running in the halls, noise and bottlethrowing during the four-day convention, but he added that "kids are kids," and that the hotel expects some loudness and petty vandalism at such a large gathering.
Harvard students helped the hotel staff contain the boisterous group of high-school students, who represented more than 100 schools in 30 states. Harvard chaperones also had to try to enforce the 12:30 a.m. curfew, set before the convention as a safety precaution.
Vandalism and excessive noise also troubled the Model United Nations when it was held at the Sheraton-Boston. Several students said delegates lit fires and threw bottles and toilet paper inside the hotel during the 1979 convention.
Richard J. DiNatale '82, secretary-general of the Model U.N., said that the Model U.N. did not move to the Park Plaza because of incidents at the Sheraton. "We have a good rapport with Sheraton," DeNatale said, adding, "The Park Plaza just offered us a better deal."
Ray Latino, the Park Plaza sales executive who arranged the accommodations for the Model U.N. this year, said at the outset of the convention that he did not anticipate any problems with the group and that he "wasn't aware of the problems at the Sheraton."
Members of the International Relations Council will meet with Park Plaza staff next week to discuss security problems but DeNatale, who has talked with hotel staff members about the convention, said he does not expect the Park Plaza to refuse future accommodations. "There were no more security problems than in any other conference," DeNatale said. He added Sheraton next year, it would be for purely economic reasons.
Despite the rowdiness, veterans of several Model United Nations conventions agreed that this one was "the best conference anyone can remember," George Craddock '84, special assistant to the secretary-general, said yesterday.
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