Every year, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Fairfield students gather on Lantern Point to show their festivity and party with their friends at Sham Jam, a variation of the well-known end of the year celebration Clam Jam. However, the event was slightly different this year after a change in security.
Students were informed in an email from Dean of Students Karen Donoghue ‘03 on March 18 that “Organized beach associations have hired additional security and police officers to ensure only residents and their invited guests are allowed on their property.”
President of the Lantern Point Association, Mike O’Rourke, hired G-Force security to monitor students behavior.
With extra security changing the pace of the event, Co-President of the Beach Residence Organization Evans Cyrpus ‘16 officially decided to cancel the event on Saturday.
“We ran into several barriers preventing us from hosting the event how we would have liked, so we decided to remove ourselves from it entirely,” said Cyprus.
With the annual event canceled, students were still determined to head to the Point. In order to avoid security restrictions, students gathered in the beach area on Friday, March 18 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
“There were calls for services on Lantern Point on Friday afternoon where it’s my understanding that the president of the Lantern Point Association asked for a large number of guests to leave the common area,” Zabin added. “There were some violations issued for open containers of alcohol in the street that afternoon.”
The party did not stop, however and residents living on the Point still decided to celebrate Sham Jam on its original date. The event that took place on Saturday, March 19 was not sponsored by BRO, but rather planned by the students living on the beach. Although the event was officially canceled, the added security still monitored the event. Students without access to the Point or students without guest passes to the Point were not allowed to join the gathering.
According to Captain of the Patrol Division of the Fairfield Police Joshua Zabin, “On Saturday there were calls for services regarding specific noise complaints, but there weren’t any arrests made related to noise. There was a heavy amount of pedestrian traffic in the streets and several summons were issued for open alcohol containers in a public place.”
Donoghue spoke about the off-campus events that occurred this weekend, saying that Assistant Director of Residence Life Pejay Lucky monitored both events “to ensure our students were safe and in compliance with University policy and state/federal law.”
She continued, saying that the University was in close contact with both the Fairfield police and the president of Fairfield Beach Association.
For many students, the increase in security took away the enjoyment of the event.
Freshman David Bogdan felt that Sham Jam “was kind of fun but overall depressing to see a fun and old tradition being stopped by not only the local police force, but a private security force.”
He added that “I understand why the landlords and town felt they needed to do this, but I feel they were being too aggressive and are putting students at more risk to get hurt as they wandered the town drunk searching for something to do.”
For Kailyn Stephens ‘18, the increase in security at Sham Jam was not enough to ruin the event for her and her friends.
“As far as security goes it wasn’t too bad, although they were monitoring the Point houses pretty closely so the party was just pushed down the beach,” Stephens said. “Overall, I think just having security watch to make sure nobody is endangering themselves is a good thing to have, but trying to break it up would just cause problems, which luckily I don’t think they tried to do.”