Mona Kai is supposed to be a dance that combines the tropics with relaxation, but the event was anything but for Whittier residents whose homes were located within earshot of the thundering music. The resulting noise complaints from neighbors shut down the Lancer event 45 minutes early. This was not the only roadblock that the Lancers faced when planning Mona Kai, they also dealt with budgetary problems.
The dance was shut down early by about 45 minutes when Campus Safety and the Whittier Police Department (WPD) arrived at the Harris Amphitheatre parking lot where the dance was being held,around 11:45 p.m. Poets and their guests were forced to leave the sand-covered dance floor as the WPD and their drug dogs patrolled the area. Mona Kai, which was held on Saturday, April 7, was supposed to last from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Despite many Poets assuming that the reason for the early shutdown was due to the supposed presence of drugs and alcohol at the dance, the real culprit was a noise complaint from people living near Whittier College.
“Though there were some students under the influence, that is not the reason Mona Kai had to be shut down,” an anonymous Campus Safety officer working on dispatch said. “There was a noise complaint with the police department, and it had to be taken care of.”
For many people in the neighborhood this is not the first time they have experienced a loud event on campus. “It gets really tiring living across from the campus,” an anonymous man living on Earlham Drive said. “No matter what time it is, there is always noise. Sometimes, it’s just too much.” The anonymous man living on Earlham Drive believed that Saturday night was especially bad. “There were people walking on my yard, and really loud, terrible music,” he said. “Someone had to get it to be quiet.”
He is not the only one that was annoyed with the event. “It was just so loud, and for no reason,” Hannah Buckley, a Whittier College neighbor, said. “Shouldn’t those kids be studying?”
Because this was the first Lancer event since they have been reinstated, many people were upset that it got shut down earlier than it was supposed to. “This had a lot of potential to be a really great dance,” junior Nicole Gonzalez said. “I can’t believe they had to shut it down.”
The early shutdown due to noise complaints was just one of the latest hurdles that the Lancer Society had to face surrounding the dance. In an effort to bring more performers for the event, the Lancers reached out to Kpoet and Media Council, an organization formed of members of each media organization on campus and student and Associated Students of Whittier College (ASWC) representatives, to fund part of the event.
After being approached by Kpoet co-Marketing Director, Lancer and junior Andrew Kim, a contract between the Lancer Society and Media Council was created, stating that in return for giving the Lancer Society $1,500 for the band, Brass Knuckles, Media Council would be granted certain rights.
Some of these rights include the hanging of a banner and having the performers give shout outs for Media Council during their performance at Mona Kai.
The hope of Media Council was to get the council and its respective organizations’ names out there. “We believed that this was a good way to get more exposure than normal [for Media Council],” Executive Producer of Video Production Studios, Media Council Treasurer and senior Andrew Swett said.
However, according to some members of Media Council and to their knowledge, the Lancers did not live up to the aforementioned terms. “Overall, my observation is that the media heads were not pleased with the way it turned out,” Chairman of Media Council junior Matthew Grant Anson said.
Kim disagrees and stated that the Lancers had designated someone to make the shout outs periodically throughout the dance. “The dance was loud, and people may not have heard them,” Kim said.
“Therefore I can understand if people overlooked or did not hear them, but they were definitely made.”
However, this was not the only mishap when preparing for Mona Kai. There was a miscommunication concerning Media Council’s funding of Brass Knuckles. About a week after the approval of the funding, it was discovered that the cost of Brass Knuckles was about $1,100 more than originally thought.
Swett explained that this amount was for a mobile dressing room and equipment for the band.
Swett stated that Kim thought that the rest of this money could come from Kpoet’s marketing budget. Kpoet had already donated $500 and the rest was coming from the Lancers. “We were able to generate the remainder through the generosity of our actives,” Kim said.
All parties involved agreed that this was the result of a miscommunication. “It was an honest miscommunication and I was glad that we got to the bottom of it,” Swett said.
In spite of the issues that Media Council faced in this new venture, it was a learning experience. “I would say that the members of Media Council were already cautious about going ahead with the project but in retrospect we will probably be more prudent in the future with allocating these funds,” Anson said.
Swett agreed with this statement and went on to add that Media Council might send representatives to oversee and make sure that all agreed upon stipulations are met.
Despite many hurdles that the Lancer society had to face, many Poets still believed that the event was a success. It is uncertain what this turn of events will means future on-campus functions.
For now, Poets will just have to wait and see what regulations, if any, occur to ensure lower noise levels for the neighborhood and how many other joint-funded projects there will be on campus.