Rumors clarified

During the past couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of misunderstanding about the “aftersets” held at the Wesley Center. Both on and off campus, the rumor mill has flourished. In an effort to clarify some of these reports, I offer the following perspective from our campus ministry.

We have provided a place for aftersets sponsored by various groups in the Black Greek Council because there is no other place in the area that is open. Many do not like to involve themselves in activities that late at night. The university has spoken of added costs and a need to have the Holmes Student Center available to clean up crews. Without some place for these sets, they might move to individual’s apartments or simply leave groups of people outside congregating because there is nothing available.

In addition to just providing a place to mellow out with friends, these aftersets are a part of the fraternities’ and sororities’ efforts to raise funds for their philanthropic service projects. All of these groups are service-oriented in their charters. The aftersets provide a fun way of raising some of the monies used in their helping others. This factor almost never gets mentioned in any conversations about the events.

We have worked with representatives of the organizations using our facilities to institute adequate security procedures to offer safe activities following the larger events that occur elsewhere on campus earlier in the evening. It is these earlier events which bring people to campus and not the aftersets. The security includes checking each person at the entrance so that they do not bring alcohol, drugs or weapons into the building. Sometimes it also involves turning away persons who show up at the door already drunk. There are additional security checks outside the building to cut down on people congregating there. About a half hour before the event ends, the police are notified so that they are aware of when large numbers of people will be on the street heading back to residence halls and apartments.

It is my belief that the aftersets then are probably safer and saner than other activities that might be going on at that hour. Parties in apartments and houses are not subjected to such security. Unfortunately, much of the talk I hear about the parties seems to imply just the opposite. I assume this is because people do not know what is going on and often base their judgments on what happens in other non-supervised events. We have discussed our procedures with individual police officers and remain open to receiving ideas on how to improve security.

With regard to the particular afterset on the night Alphonso Knight was stabbed elsewhere on campus, the security plan was in effect. There was nothing out of the ordinary at the afterset itself. It is hard for us to see this party as irresponsible or as a contributing part of the other event at the other side of campus.

Dave Schmidt


United Campus Ministries

Wesley Foundation