Haraya Hosts Dance-Off to Begin Term

Haraya, the Pan-African Students Coalition, hosted its annual Jump-Off II at Montgoris on Jan. 20, where they celebrated the start of the new semester.
The Jump-Off is the largest event on campus, and a dance party themed event. DJ Zeke and DJ Spynfo provided music at Montgoris. Chairs and tables were cleared to the side, with the main lights off and the disco lights on.

The event started at 9 p.m. but it was not until 10:30 p.m. that there was a high volume.

While some students were sitting on the side with their friends on their cell phones, others bravely stood in the middle of the dance floor, break-dancing and getting their groove on to the loud and pumping music from speakers.

Liane Robinson, the President of Haraya, said she want students to get a better understanding about the organization through the Jump-Off events. “I definitely hope that students are motivated to learn more about our organization and what we’re about,” she said. “Too often I hear misconceptions about Haraya, that we’re only for Black students and that we do too much
on campus.”

Speaking after the event, Robinson described the diversity at the Jump-Off, attesting to her hopes students would have a better understanding of the group.
“Every racial background was represented there that evening,” she said in an email. And that is what made me feel like we are getting closer to the goal.”

Aside from having a good time, security played a huge part in planning the Jump-Off. The Department of Public Safety noticed a trend that such incidents only had happened during the Jump-Off event in fall semesters. In September 2010, rapes, assaults and fights among students occurred off-campus following the event. In order to fix that, police presence was increased during future events.

Thomas Lawrence, the Vice President of Public Safety explained how Public Safety determines the level of security that is needed for an event of this size. “The traditional problem has been with the September events not the winter,” he said.  “So, that normally hasn’t been a problem for us. We base it on what the problems are.”

Lawrence concluded that the main goal of security present in these events is to ensure students’ safety. “Obviously we’re there and we want to make sure the students have a good time but we want to make sure they’re safe,” he said.