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The annual freshmen formal came to an abrupt close Friday night when the venue’s staff, citing high intoxication levels among formal attendees, decided to end the event one hour early.
“The Great Gala,” a Great Gatsby-themed party, was scheduled to last from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Seaport Boston Hotel, but hotel staff chose to end the formal at midnight, said Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman ’67.
“One student had gone to an area hospital for intoxication, and a handful of other students were sick,” Dingman said. “For [the hotel], that was sufficient to end the formal.”
According to a statement emailed to The Crimson from the First-Year Social Committee, approximately 1200 students attended the formal, marking a record-high number of tickets sold.
“The formal unfortunately had to end an hour early due to the hotel's concerns about safety issues and liability related to intoxicated students,” the statement read. “The hotel thought it apt to end the event early so that the situation could be dealt with as swiftly and carefully as possible."
Freshmen who attended the event remarked that an unexpected announcement signaled an early end to the night.
“I wasn’t on the dance floor when they announced it, but I heard that they made an announcement to go home,” Gabriela Diaz-Quinones ’17 said. She said that members of the First Year Social Committee subsequently informed guests to retrieve their coats and return to campus, adding that she and other freshmen were confused about what had transpired.
“No one has informed us of anything,” Diaz-Quinones said. “We have no idea what happened, or if anything happened.”
Janae A. Hughes ’17 said someone announced from the stage, “‘You guys have to go. Too many of you are smashed.’”
Hughes said she thought freshmen straying out of the dance area and into other parts of the hotel may have caused problems with the hotel.
“I didn’t see [visible intoxication] inside the party, but I think people were outside in the hotel area, and that’s where the problem was,” Hughes said.
Despite its early ending, Dingman said that he considered the formal to be a “very well-managed event.”
“I thought that the majority of freshmen conducted themselves beautifully,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Seaport Boston Hotel could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
—Staff writer Nikki D. Erlick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @nikkierlick.
—Staff writer Brianna D. MacGregor can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @bdmacgregor.
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