Partying is nothing new at UMass or at any other school.
But what is new is the cancellation of an upcoming event at the Mullins Center called an electric dance party.
“These concerts have been the venue, these electronic music concerts have been the venue where the drug has been abused and in some cases fatally,” said Director of Media Relations at UMass Amherst, Ed Blaguszewski.
He’s referring to a pair of deaths linked to the drug Molly earlier this month at an electronic music festival in New York. Then a similar incident at Boston’s House of Blues where three were rushed to a hospital and one later died of an overdose.
And while administrators admit there’s no way to police student behavior 24-7… they felt in light of the drugs increasing popularity at dance concerts, it was best not to be involved.
We recognize students are going to go to concerts,” said Blaguszewski. “Whether they’re here or elsewhere but we have a special responsibility for hosting something on our campus.”
The cancellation may also serve another purpose. It has students talking.
SGA President Zac Broughton certainly seem to think so.
“I think maybe a benefit of looking at this particular event being cancelled is now everyone is talking about it so it almost forces the dialogue,” said Broughton.
On Wednesday – the dean of students sent out an email saying in part: “The event cancellation gives our community the opportunity to better understand Molly-related dangers.”
Again – trying to get student’s attention – and spur a discussion.
“Listen you might be tempted to do this but look at the news. Look at what’s really happened here. People have gotten very ill and some have died,” said Blaguszewski.
That’s something UMass hopes to prevent.
According to the Mullins Center, refunds for the dance party scheduled for September 21st — will be available at the point of purchase.