Several students rushed the doors of the Pub Sport Grill, which was packed to capacity on Thursday night, an hour after Pub After Dark, a nightclub-like event on campus, began.
Security officers shut the doors to the pub when students started to push the line to try to enter Pub After Dark. Two girls standing at the front of the line were knocked down, but were uninjured.
“They kept pushing forward toward the doors,” said CSUN Campus Police Sgt. Randy Banales, who said they stopped letting people in when it didn’t seem as though they were going to leave.
Vanessa Garduno, University Student Union program coordinator, said, “We need to keep them safe in line. They think its fun to push.”
Garduno said a lot of students arrived early, which is why the pub reached maximum capacity so soon. Past events didn’t even reach maximum capacity, but the event has become more popular, Garduno said.
“I think what went wrong is that it’s a very popular event,” Garduno said. “Students inside are having a great time.”
Twenty-year-old Stephan Small, who isn’t a CSUN student, traveled from Tarzana to attend the event.
“It looked pretty cool, but it’s all packed,” Small said. “You’ve got fights about to break out. It needs to be more organized.”
Small said the people in attendance “look like freshmen and sophomores ? like they’re ready to shake their asses.”
The Union Program Council has been hosting Pub After Dark for the last two years, three times each semester. But Christina Lee, special events chair and event coordinator, said it really gained popularity last semester.
“Each one just got bigger and bigger,” Lee said.
Seventeen-year-old Marissa Wallace, a freshman from Long Beach who lives at the dorms, said, “I heard about a previous event here that was packed, and they were turning people away, so I figured it had to be cool.”
Doors opened at 9:00 p.m. A CSUN student ID card was required to enter the event, and security guards used metal detector wands to search the students entering the club.
Lee said the event has become so popular that they’ve had to contract a security company, instead of using CSUN Department of Public Safety police officers as they’ve done in the past.
At 9:20 p.m., the pub was packed and students were welcomed by blasting hip-hop music. Most of the students started dancing in the darkness of the dance floor or hanging out with friends bunched in booths that lined the walls of the pub.
By 9:40 p.m., the booths were all occupied and students who weren’t sitting down were forced to stand on the dance floor, urging others to join them.
Ten minutes thereafter the event escalated when the disc jockey played “Shake That Monkey” by Too Short. People sitting in the booths jumped to the floor to “pop and lock” with their peers.
At 10:00 p.m., more than 200 students were crowded on the dance floor, oblivious to the long, growing line of frustrated students outside.
Assistant Director of Operations and Services for the USU Jason Wang stood near the parking lot telling students the club was full.
“It’s one out, one in, right now,” Wang said effortlessly to the many students who continued on to the pub. Wang said they were at maximum capacity and couldn’t allow any more students inside because of fire code policies.
Most students who attended were lower classmen living on campus. There were a few exceptions, such as seniors and juniors who attended with roommates. The pub doesn’t serve food or drinks during the club hours of 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. except for water.
Some students said they came to dance, some guys said they came for the girls, but mostly everyone agreed that it was “fun and free” and there was “nothing else to do.”
Brandon Henderson, a freshman who lives on campus and came to dance, said, “It’s on campus, free and people have fun. I have a lot of friends that come here.”
Eighteen-year-old Daniel Medved from Los Angeles, who heard about the dance from his roommate, said, “I’m a bored freshman in the dorms.”
Medved said he would guess about 25 percent of the students who live on campus attended the event because it was close by.
Lee said, “We try to get students back on campus at night and show there is life on campus and things to do. They don’t have to go to Hollywood.”
Past dance themes have included a Western theme and a black-light alternative night.
“We try to hit a lot of different areas and students,” said Sandra Cheng, a 22-year-old sociology major and chair of Union Program Council.
Lee said she’d like to extend the Pub After Dark to include a larger space, such as the courtyard and USU Grand Salon, so more students could attend and wouldn’t have to be turned away. It might not be feasible because there’d be so many rules, restrictions and security needed, Less said.
Garduno said problems like these could be fixed with a larger venue. Lee said there were also minor incidents last semester, but nothing major.
The USU hosts numerous events throughout the semester for students. The next and last Pub After Dark for the semester will be on Nov. 1.