Bowles Halloween Party Nixed By School

Contact Elysha Tenenbaum at [email protected]

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Halloween partygoers will have to look beyond UC Berkeley's residence halls this year after the administration put the brakes on the infamous Bowles Halloween Party.

The bash, the largest party held in a residence hall, was canceled after residents broke party conduct rules last year, said Victor Culatta, associate director of residential and family living.

Last year's party ended in a string of mishaps, including at least one alcohol-related arrest, prompting the administration to cancel the event.

Residence hall rules mandate that alcohol be banned from all Resident Hall Association events, Culatta said.

The university began tightening the reins on Bowles Hall after the 2002 party when a student involved in an alcohol-related incident required emergency medical attention, leading the university to tighten security measures and cap party capacity at 950, down from 4,000 attendees in previous years.

"I personally sent every resident in Bowles Hall a number of directives that would have to be followed or the consequence was that future parties in Bowles Hall would be canceled," Culatta said, who made the final decision to cancel the event. "There were a number of violations and therefore the party is canceled for this year."

Bowles Hall residents were notified of this year's party cancellation two weeks after last year's Nov. 1 bash, Culatta said.

"It was made very clear right from the get-go this year that there would be no Halloween party so this would come as no surprise," Culatta said.

Bowles resident Shaunt Oungoulian-who heard about the party's cancellation in a residence hall meeting on move-in day-said residents were told that some of the old "Bowles traditions" would be discontinued this year in favor of encouraging new and more positive ones like "baking cookies for Stern girls."

"I heard it's the best Halloween party so I was kind of mad," he said. "I at least wanted to see it."

Bowles Residence Hall Association members said the party's cancellation was a top-down decision made without student input.

"It's pretty much non-negotiable," said Anthony Petrancosta, treasurer of the association. "They just want it stopped. We're willing to have some restrictions on the party and we'd still like to have it."

Culatta said he and his staff members had worked closely with the Residence Hall Association for several months leading up to the party last year before outlining the rules.

Petrancosta, who was involved in the party's planning last year, said concerns over security and cost may have also led to the decision to cancel the party. Last year's bash came with a $4,000 security bill from police, he said.

Yet Culatta said the main reason for the party's cancellation was the number of student conduct violations last year, not security issues.


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