The men’s rugby team’s annual toga party at Ladd House, Epicuria, was more successful in terms of student safety than previous years, thanks to increased security measures from the Office of Safety and Security.

“There was one transport [to Mid Coast Hospital] associated with Epicuria—a first year female student,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols. “Two years ago, we had four transports; one is too many but at least we’re going in the right direction.”
Epicuria is one of the busiest nights of the year for Security, so a number of  new security procedures were put in place this year, including a larger officer presence around Ladd House and an increased number of wellness checks.

In order to keep the event safe, Security added three extra shift supervisors on top of their normal Saturday night staff.

One of the most frequent problems Security encountered at the event was public urination. One student was caught urinating in a Ladd House hallway and has been reported to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. 

“It was a little ridiculous this year with the amount of urine flowing around,” said Nichols.

The event organizers—the men’s rugby team and Ladd House residents—held several meetings with members of Security and the Office of Residential Life, which is unusual, even for a campus-wide party.

“It was a really bumping party that one doesn’t often see at Bowdoin and no one got into trouble or was unsafe, so it went as well as we could’ve asked for,” said rugby team captain Varun Wadia ’15. 

The Office of Student Activities contributed to keeping the event safe as well by renting a taco truck and having it stationed in front of Ladd House. They also provided an inflatable bouncy castle in front of Osher Hall.

“I thought they [Security] did a good job monitoring the event without being overbearing,” said Christian Boulanger ’15, a member of the rugby team’s senior leadership. “Having the taco truck outside was pretty nice, it gave people an opportunity to get out of the heat.”

“That’s a carry over from a strategy we used during Ivies,” said Nichols, referring to the taco truck. “We have found that by providing copious amounts of pizza and other food items, we are able to affect safety in a positive way.”

Despite the several live bands that played during the night, noise levels were kept low enough that the College did not receive any noise complaints from town residents this year, though they have in years past.

“The police did not get a call associated with Epicuria at all this year,” said Nichols. “When you put on a toga, sometimes you act a little differently.”

This year’s Epicuria stood in stark contrast to the infamous 2012 toga party, a night during which the College determined that the rugby team had violated its hazing policy. The events of the party led the president and the vice president of Ladd to voluntarily step down, and to security increasing alcohol security. On the night of the 2012 Epicuria, four students were transported—two from Ladd, one from Coleman and one from the off-campus Union Street house—and two students were cited for underage drinking at Union Street.