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  • Trevor Klein

Scripps Halloween Party Shut Down Early Due to Chaos, Fire Extinguishers

This Saturday, the annual Claremont College Halloween party ended in chaos. Scripps hosted the event, which was open to all Scripps students and 200 students from each of the respective neighboring Claremont Colleges. Last year, Pitzer hosted the Halloween party, and it was open to all Claremont College students.

Scripps held the party on the Bowling Green Lawn and surrounded the space with barricades. Initially, students entered through a controlled entry point. Around 10:35 PM, students forced their way through the entry point and knocked down the barricades surrounding the lawn. One attendee said, “All of a sudden, I look over, and a couple of hundred students were pouring in.”

Soon afterward, the college canceled the event and ordered all attendees to leave. In a statement released Monday, the Claremont Colleges said, “The event was shut down at the direction of the Scripps College Student Affairs staff based on 200+ students forcing their way through the entry point all at one time, in addition to many students climbing over and/or pulling down event fencing.”

On Instagram, a member of Scripps Associated Students claimed that campus security “[sprayed] students with fire extinguishers.” This was followed by videos of students coughing from the air that appeared to be filled with chemicals discharged from a fire extinguisher. The account also shared a Snapchat photo of a fire extinguisher on the ground. The image was captioned, “Why do these mall cops have fire extinguishers?”

The aforementioned member of Scripps student government resigned earlier this week. She wrote, “I felt unheard in my efforts to prevent obvious problems with their handling and planning of school events, and it was frustrating to see this deliberate shortsightedness result in the use of assertive response tactics toward students at the event.”

It is still not clear who sprayed the fire extinguishers based on the information reviewed thus far. The Claremont Colleges released a statement claiming that at “no point in the shutting down of the event did any Campus Safety or CSC Security Guards use a fire extinguisher or any force to disperse the crowd.”

The day after the event, students took to anonymous campus social media platforms to voice their discontent. One wrote, “[Why] are these schools so dedicated to making sure people don’t have fun.”

Another posted a link to a document that reads: “I thought that one way I could connect with my fellow 5C students would be at “5C” parties and events. But, recently[,] all I’ve seen is separation amongst the 5Cs in this regard through exaggerated limitations and regulations. The most extreme and honestly saddening example being the 5C Halloween party recently hosted at Scripps. It appeared to be a very exclusive event[,] and at this point[,] I’m not sure of the logic behind... limiting the amount of students. Since last year, the Pitzer Halloween party was very open and unlimited during the return from COVID[,] and I saw no major consequences result from it.”

Others blamed the students who rushed the event. A student wrote, “[I] can't believe that I have to say this but you guys are not entitled to parties[,] and it is insane that there was a potentially unsafe situation… caused by your apparently unbearable [fear of missing out].”


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