With the stress of a college workload, many students choose to release tension on the dance floor. On that dance floor students are begging one another to teach the other how to “dougie,” “jiggin,” creating moves of their own that show off their individuality and transferring stressful energy into the art of dance.
Suddenly, the dances regularly held on campus have come to a halt, leaving students confused and wondering
“It’s not that we don’t want our students to enjoy the college atmosphere,” said Dr. Moore, Vice President of Student Affairs. “We are not saying that there won’t be any dances. We just decided to take a timeout and look at a variety of things in order to make the events more successful.”
Behind the scenes of dances, many things have to be taken into consideration, including the cost of the event, the audience and the safety patrol.
“What we are doing is trying to prevent the student- driven crisis,” said Vincent Nguyen, director of the Center for
Student Life & Involvement. “We’re trying to look at things like what kind of music we play as the students are leaving the dance. Music controls us, so we’re trying to find the proper music that would influence the students to leave in an orderly fashion. As for safety, certified uniform peace officers have doubled. We want these events to be so successful that the students will be like ‘Man I want to do that again,'” said Nguyen.
There are many factors that officials are evaluating in order to construct more successful dances for the students including an occurrence that happened with another college.
Recently, a few Lon Morris College students were involved in a major altercation at a club
in Jacksonville. There were guns involved in the altercation, which then proved that it was bigger than just a college fight. The incident made headlines and had the media questioning the safety of college students.
“Though it may not have happened on campus, it still involved Lon Morris students,” said Dr. Moore. “This is not an event that happened in a college states away. This event hit close to home. So being that it was so close to home, the media could come knocking on TJC’s door asking what are we doing for the safety of our students. The situation that happened with Lon Morris is not the cause of the temporary hold on dances. We’re just looking at what can we do to make the safety of our students better.”
The temporary hold on dances is floating through the air across the college campus and students are ex- pressing how they feel about the fact.
“I feel like they are lying to us and they are trying to cover up the truth,” said TJC sophomore Ciara Mason. “I don’t feel like it is a temporary hold.Why are they trying to get our hopes up? They are always talking about how they are concerned with our safety and welfare. Well having a dance on campus monitors that. There is nothing else to do. I feel sorry for the freshmen. When I first came here it was so fun, now everything is cut off. I feel like they are labeling the drama that happens at dances with BSA (Black Student Association).”
While some students may feel like officials are covering up the real reason for putting a hold on dances, others believe that TJC students are to blame.
“All these kids want to do now is fight,” said TJC sophomore Sierra Collins. “I feel like they put a hold on the dances because the majority have overstepped the boundaries. We can never have anything nice. The violence and the fighting is the reason a lot of students don’t even want to partake in these events. The students are the ones not being obedient; people were abusing their freedom. Now there are strict limitations, but as a whole, we brought that upon ourselves.”
TJC has struggled with fights after two on campus dances in Fall 2008. The first one happened during a Homecoming dance. The second one happened at a Halloween Dance inside of the Apache rooms during a song titled “Watch My Shoes.” The second fight involved so many TJC students that Campus Safety was obligated to call Tyler Police due to being outnumbered by the students involved in the fighting.
“I think it might be because
whenever there was a dance, there was always a fight,” said TJC sophomore Lauren Walker. “Honestly, I think that is the reason and it is not fair for everyone to lose privileges for the people that can’t behave. I feel like if they had more security there would be a lesser chance of having one. I also think if it’s temporary than that is better than being permanent. Maybe students will learn to appreciate the dances more.”
With so many recent changes that have taken place at TJC and now with the dances being put on a temporary hold, this may leave many wondering what is TJC’s primary goal as a college.
“We’re trying to make TJC the friendliest college in America,” said Dr. Moore. “So we are making healthy changes in order to do so. Our vision is civility. We’re staying true to our promises which are quality education, a vibrant student life and community service. Are some people going to get a little offended during the movement because of these changes?