Philosophy graduate students expressed anger with Associate Dean of Student Affairs Joy Montero after Public Safety shut down their end-of-year party on the evening of Friday, April 30, on orders from her office.
The disagreement between the students and Montero's office focused on whether Montero had approved the party.
"We have huge complaints with Public Safety and the office of F. Joy Montero and [her assistant] Stefanie Stopa," Barry Lam GS said in an email.
Relations between the graduate students and Montero have since improved, but the students were furious for a few days because they believed Montero's office had wrongly cracked down on the party, held in the Tower Room of 1879 Hall, home to the philosophy department.
"There were miscommunications related to this particular activity," said Director of Communications Lauren Robinson-Brown '85. "However, the concern of the students about these miscommunication does not supersede the concern of the University to ensure that alcohol is being handled properly with regard to our policies and state law," she said.
Party organizers said the party was a simple affair.
"This wasn't a rowdy, crazy party," the organizer, Brett Sherman GS, said.
"The end-of-the-year party is a way to celebrate the past year, to have fun with faculty and to send off our outgoing graduate students. It is one of the highlights of our department," Lam said.
Sherman said he had tried to obtain approval for the party, going to Montero's office and filling out the appropriate forms. But he said he could not return the form in time to get approval — 10 days in advance.
Sherman claimed that Montero's assistant had tacitly waived the requirement in an email.
"Everything was going well" until about 10:30 p.m., Sherman said, when he stepped outside and saw Public Safety officers.
Sherman said he explained the situation and Public Safety contacted Montero's office.
While Lam said Stopa, Montero's assistant, acknowledged receiving the registration form, she said the party couldn't continue.
Stopa declined to comment, and Montero didn't return several telephone calls. Robinson-Brown spoke on their behalf.
"The party was never authorized and that's why it was shut down," Robinson-Brown said.
In a meeting with Montero last week, Lam and Sherman discussed the events and came to an understanding, Lam said.