Follow-Up: Full Moon on the Quad Happens

Posted by at 3:05AM

Despite the university’s ‘cancellation’ of this year’s Full Moon on the Quad, a large mass of people–unscientifically guesstimated at about 500 or more–gathered in the quad to celebrate and partake in the event.
As noted in the previous blog post, there had been rumors of strict university policing. However, there was minimal police presence and the security was distant and only in place to make sure nobody got hurt. The most surprising presence was actually of a number of administrators, including OSA/SAL director Nanci Howe and Vice Provost of Student Affairs Greg Boardman, who were overseeing the mass of people but, despite my prodding, would not participate in the Full Moon festivities.
I actually spent about an hour talking to Nanci Howe about FMOTQ, student rights, university policies, legal restrictions, the state of New Jersey, and much more. In this conversation, I learned a number of important things:
Firstly, there will not be another Full Moon this year. There were also rumors circulating that the university would sponsor an “official” FMOTQ next month, but Ms. Howe assured me that these rumors were untrue. However, she did say that Full Moon should resume as scheduled next year and would not be shut down for good.
Secondly, we talked about political rallies and she explained the restrictions on political events on campus. As it turns out, any group or student can bring a political speaker to campus as long as it is not ‘partisan.’ The definition of partisan only refers to, she noted, politicians running for office. And these ‘partisan’ figures can be on campus as long as they show up for free. This is radically different from what I had previously thought about political events on campus, which I presumed to be much stricter.
Thirdly, she claimed that party policies had not become more harsh recently; rather, she argued, they were the same or even less strict than they had been previously. I noted that groups had been complaining that parties had become much more regulated and expensive, and she only conceded that security costs had indeed risen. Other than that, she claimed, everything was the same as before.
On this topic I hope she is right, but I remain worried given the huge police presence surrounding the row these past two weekends and continued complaints from party-hosting students.
We had a few disagreements over what power the university did or did not have in being able to restrict or shut down student events, but other than that we agreed on most topics regarding the protection of student rights.
I can only hope that Ms. Howe’s claims that she and the rest of the administration really want to help students and not restrict any of our rights are indeed true. And to all those who showed up for Full Moon, naked or not, I can only hope you had fun.

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