University officials are considering alternative plans for next year’s Cram Jam celebration after violence erupted at the event late Sunday night.
The Office of Student Activities and Florida A&M’s Facility Request and Event Approval committee are both exploring the source of this year’s disturbance and brainstorming answers to the recurring problem.
Quintin Haynes, who coordinates logistics for FREA, said that the committee did everything in its power to keep the event safe.
“Last year, we had an incident with drinking and fights. A lot of damage was done,” said Haynes. “We thought that if we didn’t have music, the event could focus on an opportunity to eat for free and mingle,” Haynes said. “Last year, there were broken windows, broken doors and even last year wasn’t this bad.”
In order to alleviate any tension surrounding this year’s event, the committee made sure that special provisions were made.
“It was a very controlled event. Students were only allowed at the top, but a fight still broke out,” Haynes said.
Saundra Inge, director of OSA, said she was disappointed by the behavior of the students, but has created alternate plans for the future.
“A little later on, I don’t know why, but there was a tussel. I left then,” Inge said. “We hate for it to end that way.”
This final confrontation was the culmination of several separate confrontations that Inge witnessed that night.
“There were a couple of incidents, a total of three. A young man accidentally dropped his tray and of course and you can imagine food splashed everywhere,” Inge said. “Some folks were quite upset, but I don’t think it was with malice. It was almost like a food fight.”
Inge said that the event returned to normal, but escalated later that night.
“There was a fight. Then that calmed down,” said Inge, who believed that the series of altercations had ended for the night. “As soon as I left, I heard a popping noise. Everybody kind of scattered and [the police] let everybody else inside. “
Inge is considering extending the event from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to alleviate some of the violence.
Khadija Jones, 20, a third-year business administration student from Atlanta, remembers the fight that occurred last year and is not surprised by the alteration in plans.
“Last year was really fun at first…Almost an hour before it was over, Greeks started strolling and people started moving all over the place. All of a sudden, all you saw were people fighting,” Jones said.
While plans may shift to alleviate violence, the event remains scheduled to take place for the 2010-2011 school year.