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UC Berkeley puts a hold on dances this fall as it works to improve venue safety, operations
27 August 2001

By Marie Felde, Media Relations

Berkeley - A fast-track task force has been appointed to find ways to improve UC Berkeley's main venue for student dances and evaluate operations so that student groups can continue to host campus dances that are successful and safe.

In the meantime, the campus has declared a moratorium on fall semester dances at Pauley Ballroom in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union. The center is managed by the Associated Students of the University of California.

"Our goal is to get improvements made and fine tune operations so that dances can resume as quickly as possible. Still, we know the moratorium will be disappointing to student groups that planned to have dances this fall at Pauley," said Karen Kenney, dean of students.

The task force, appointed by Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, will look at ways to improve the operation of the facility and address physical limitations of the building. It will be chaired by Assistant Chancellor John Cummins and will include representatives from student groups and the ASUC.

The goals are to provide better, safer access into and out of Pauley Ballroom, which has a capacity of 1,000 people, as well as more effective crowd control outside. The need for enhanced lighting outside and staffing needs for security and other personnel will also be reviewed.

The moratorium was put in place and the task force formed following an incident early Sunday at the south edge of campus. Police reported that a group of young people broke windows, vandalized cars and broke into private residences after a student-sponsored dance in Pauley Ballroom ended.

The student group that sponsored the dance followed university rules, but the campus said the incident focused attention on the need to address safety issues involving the ballroom facility and overall dance management.

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