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Party Hours Extension Dependent on City License

By David C. Newman, Crimson Staff Writer

Due to circumstances that Undergraduate Council members say they still don’t quite understand, tomorrow’s Adams House Masquerade will probably be shut down at the normal time of 1 a.m., according to Richard V. Scali, executive officer of the Cambridge License Commission.

The masquerade will take place just two weeks after the council declared victory in its fight for extended party hours, when House Masters agreed to let Houses extend dry public parties until 2 a.m.

It is now clear that that decision was not only the Masters’ to make, since the process of securing such a license requires a special hearing that can take weeks to complete.

So far, masquerade organizers have not secured the special permit Scali said they need to continue what the license commission calls “entertainment” past 1 a.m.

Pfoho54, the Leverett ’80s Dance and Winthrop’s “Chastity” (the event formerly known as Debauchery) may also not be able to get permits in time, according to council member Brian R. Smith ’02, who has led the push for the extension of party hours.

Adams House has advertised the popular masquerade—for which $5 tickets have already gone on sale—as a late-night event.

“It’s really terrible that we already billed our event as until 2,” said Adams House Committee Co-Chair Amanda L. Hillman ’02. “It may have to close at 1 due to this miscommunication.”

Hillman went to City Hall last Thursday to request a 2 a.m. permit for the masquerade.

She said she was told this was impossible under normal procedure, and that “it would take a few weeks” to get a hearing at which the special license may be issued.

Scali said he will meet today with Smith, Hillman, Adams House Committee Co-Chair Benjamin L. Miller ’02 and Susan T. Cooke, the College’s coordinator of student activities. But he said he didn’t think a 2 a.m. permit would be granted.

“I doubt that’s going to happen before Saturday night,” Scali said, citing the need for a hearing before three commissioners. “There’s not much time.”

Smith said he doubts a permit will be granted and sees today’s meeting as a chance for the city commission to clarify the rules that students, Masters and administrators once thought they understood.

“I’m not really sure what happened,” Smith said.

“I am not sure of the source of the misunderstanding,” wrote Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 in an e-mail. “Perhaps [Smith] thought, and I had no reason to doubt, that the Licensing Board’s requirements, for an event serving no alcohol, would not be hard to meet,” Lewis wrote.

According to Lewis, Harvard Universiy Police Department Chief Francis D. “Bud” Riley called Lewis Oct. 11—the day after the Masters approved 2 a.m. parties—after receiving a call from Cambridge License Commission Chair Benjamin C. Barnes saying that the 1 a.m. curfew on “entertainment” remained in place.

“I very much regret that this was not made clear to the Masters at the time the proposal was approved,” Lewis wrote.

Smith said he expects the issue—which he regrets was not taken care of last month—to be sorted out at today’s meeting.

Meanwhile, council members are left to hope that when the dust settles, Smith’s months of lobbying the Masters for an extension will not turn out to have been for nothing.

Staff writer David C. Newman can be reached at dnewman@fas.harvard.edu.

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