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Monday, April 15, 2024 — Houston, TX

Students stuck outside at Sid '80s again

By Nicole Zhao     9/13/12 7:00pm


Sid '80s had record-breaking attendance this year as approximately 2,500 people arrived at Sid Richardson College last Saturday night, according to estimates from Rice University Police Department, leading to greater capacity issues this year than in previous years. The Sid Commons can fit no more than 400 people at a time, Sid social Caitlin Devereaux said.

Devereaux, a Sid junior, said despite the capacity issues, she was happy with how the party went.

"Overall, it went pretty smoothly, and I had a good time," Devereaux said. "Some people who came late were frustrated with lines, but there isn't really an easy solution. We just don't have the capacity for [2,500] students. There were definitely times where RUPD had to block off entrances to both the tower and commons because literally no more people could fit."

Sid social Sachin Allahabadi said he would not have planned the party differently. "Any public party with over 2,500 people would have the same issue of overcrowding," Al- lahabadi, a Sid senior, said. "I don't think it was a problem and would have planned the party the exact same way again. I know some people had issues with the long lines, but that has to do with the number of people there. There's nothing we can do about that." Jones College junior Nick Rizopoulos said he gave up waiting to get into the public party after twenty to thirty minutes. 

"I wasn't able to get in to the public party be- cause the line was too long and they were only letting a few people in at a time," Rizopoulos said. "The guy wouldn't let me up the elevator to the private parties, so I had to take the stairs. If they had more people in the private parties there wouldn't have been so many people at the public [party]."

Devereaux attributed the increase in attendance to the nature of the party and the increasing size of the freshman class.

"'80s is just one of the more popular parties on campus where even if you aren't a person who typically goes to public parties, you still go to '80s," Devereaux said. "I think it's the band, and the theme is really accessible. We hyped it up a lot because we wanted a lot of people to come. It becomes a campus-wide event at that point."

Devereaux said the capacity issue is not an easy fix.

"More and more, people are coming back each year," she said. "It's difficult to imagine how we could fit the entire student body. We could extend the outdoor area perhaps, but until Sid is remodeled, there is no way to fit more than 400 people in our commons."

Sid social Rachel Tenney said that limitations with moving the party outdoors include the fact that the party would then be subject to Texas noise laws and party attendees would have to be considerate of the masters and resident associates and their families living in neighboring Hanszen and Wiess Colleges.

"Putting two speakers at medium volume is different than putting a crowd of hundreds of people plus an entire cover band outdoors," Tenney said.

According to Allahabadi, Sid has always experienced capacity issues during '80s.

"We have had to use RUPD before," he said. "This is not the first time this has happened. I think it seemed [like this was the first time there were capacity issues] because the line was so long."

Allahabadi said he would encourage more people to hang out in the beer garden area.

"We had food outside, tables to sit at, alcohol for those of age and the band's music playing live through the speakers," Allahabadi said. "If you were outside, you pretty much got most of the party."

Tenney said an easy fix to address for next year would be having separate lines for non-Rice student guests and Rice students.

Martel College senior Claire Morice said she she got in around 11 p.m., but some of her friends who showed up later had problems.

"They could maybe have more control over the number of non-Rice guests allowed," Morice said. "I did like the beer garden. Maybe have more of the party outside, which would allow for more circulation of people, [and] maybe get the band to perform outside as well. Just have some- thing to draw more people outside."

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