Adams Dance Is Shut Down

Hundreds of Harvard undergraduates in assorted costumes flooded Plympton Street at 12:30 yesterday morning after Harvard police broke up the annual Adams House Masquerade, a dance renowned for its outlandish costumes and deviant fun.

Men dressed as women and women dressed as cats were some of the people milling about on the street with anywhere from 600 to 1,000 of their fellow students, according to various estimates by students in attendance.

Frank E. Pacheco '99, vice-chair of the Adams House Committee, said the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) evacuated the Adams House dining hall in response to a fire alarm that was triggered in the Adams A-entryway.

The Cambridge Fire Department and the Cambridge Police Department were also on the scene.

Besides the Masquerade, Adams House also played host to two parties late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, the party in Adams A-17 revolved around a "hell" motif while the party in room A-41 was dubbed "heaven."


"Someone pulled the fire alarm in A-entryway, as far as I know, and that's what caused the fire department to come," said David S. Abrams '98, a host of the "heaven" party.

He pointed out that it was easy for anyone to have set off the alarm since there was at least one fire alarm on each of the building's four floors.

Pacheco said police arrived on the scene around 12:15 a.m. When they got there, he said, they noticed that the number of people in the dining hall far exceeded its legal maximum capacity of 350, and began trying to evacuate the room for fire hazard reasons.

Jeffrey C. McClean '99, who was at the dance, said the dining hall was difficult to evacuate because students hadn't heard the fire alarm and therefore did not understand what the commotion was about.

McClean said an altercation began between the police and the deejay, Shiuan Liu '95, a non-resident tutor in Adams, when Liu refused to order the crowd to disperse after the police had asked him to.

McClean said that instead of asking the crowd to leave quietly, Liu began trying to "rile up the crowd, saying stuff like: 'C'mon, don't let them run us out of here, bail me out.'"

"Then the police said that if he played one more song, that they'd lock him up," McClean said.

Police eventually had to physically move Liu away from the microphone, he said.

After that, McClean said, the lights came on and the crowd began heckling the police. People milled around the dining hall confusedly for the next 15 to 20 minutes until they eventually squeezed out into the streets, he said.

"There's a lot of effort that goes into the thing, and to have it shut down that way..." Pacheco said.