BlackBox party draws 1,020 students and pre-frosh
Most pre-frosh knew about the party before they had even arrived on campus, and BlackBox’ “We Takin’ Over” party achieved record-high numbers of 1,020 pre-frosh and current students in attendance last weekend.
In preparation for the 500 pre-frosh last weekend, BlackBox, Inc., began an early advertising campaign through the Class of 2012 facebook.com group and bombarded pre-frosh with invitations and links to youtube.com videos before they arrived. To accommodate the expected crowd, BlackBox relocated to the Wilcox Dining Hall where, with USG funding, a new lighting and sound system was set up and a professional DJ was hired.
BlackBox, the nightclub sponsored by the University, serves only non-alcoholic drinks and is hosted by Wilson College every Friday night from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. BlackBox, which was conceived by Wilson College Master Marguerite Browning, began on Feb. 11, 2005. Since then, it has been an effort led by a team of about 20 students.
“I just thought that there are no nightclubs in Princeton, in the town, and the only place to hear music or dance is the Street,” Browning said. “I just thought it would be great to have.”
Dexter Doyle ’09, BlackBox president, estimated that around 300 of the 500 pre-frosh attended last weekend. He aims to attract around 450 pre-frosh this coming weekend since the number of pre-frosh arriving will be greater. While it will not be relocating to a larger space this weekend, Doyle noted that BlackBox will attempt to accommodate everyone despite having to follow a maximum-capacity rule.
Doyle added that BlackBox ran into minor problems last weekend — including the air conditioner not turning on and running out of drinks — but said that these issues would be resolved for next weekend.
“Everyone had a great time. We look to improve on it even more this weekend,” BlackBox vice president Lalithra Fernando ’10 said.
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne had suggested that Doyle move BlackBox to the Mathey Common Room for the Princeton Preview weekends, but Doyle and his team decided to stay in Wilson.
“I like Wilcox because it’s grittier. You don’t have the gothic architecture. People like that. It’s real,” Doyle said. He likened the Mathey common room to Hogwarts, the school in the “Harry Potter” series.
“As long as students are running BlackBox, it will continue to be a Wilson College signature event,” Browning said.
Doyle said that when he handed out flyers at the Activities Fair, most pre-frosh said they already knew about the party and that the event had received good reviews.
In describing the students who usually attend the parties, Doyle noted that many BlackBox attendees don’t regularly visit the Street. He added that BlackBox’ no-alcohol policy, which contrasts the availability of alcohol on the Street, had positive and negative aspects.
“Some people think they can’t party without alcohol. We do get the hardcore people who want to have a good time ... I see BlackBox as my eating club,” Doyle said.
“It was a lot of fun. It wasn’t as lame as I [initially] expected it to be,” Lucia Zhou ’11 said. Zhou frequents BlackBox on Friday nights.“For the most part, last weekend, it was ‘We takin’ over,’ ” Doyle said. “Now, we feel like we took over Princeton [on] Friday night. This week the theme is ... ‘We the best.’ ”
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