Administration Releases Townhouse Day Information


Harmful student actions, including a sexual assault and two hospital transports during Townhouse Day 2013 on the Pleasantville campus, were only part of the reasoning behind the prevention of the event’s planning, according to school officials.

Rather, a pattern of bad behavior over a the course of several years, capped by last spring’s actions caused Pace administration to release that the university would no longer be able to support the event due to student behavior and mentality.

Many students were concerned that specific events that occurred during Townhouse Day in 2013 directly resulted in the investigation. However, the sexual assault and two hospital transports that did occur last year were said to be events that only added to the existing safety concern that administration has had in previous years.

“It was not just one event or ‘spark’ that caused the evaluation of Townhouse Day. It was due to a culmination of events and continuous violation of policy over the last few years,” Head of Security Vincent Beatty said.

Pace Security, Residential Life Staff, and Townhouse Hall Council have worked together in previous years to provide a safe and happy environment in which to celebrate Townhouse Day. The continued use of alcohol by minors and illegal drug use, however, has forced the administration to create and enforce a stricter set of safety guidelines.

Students have been found consistently violating three of the Guiding Principles of Conduct on Townhouse Day, including “the unlawful use, possession, sale, distribution or manufacture of controlled substances and paraphernalia”, the “consumption of alcohol by any member of the University community…under the age of 21 which is illegal and prohibited on University premises and at University-sponsored events,” and, even if otherwise lawful, “alcohol, in limited circumstances… is also not permitted at University sponsored events.”

Based on police reports, no more than two hospital transports due to intoxication have consistently occurred on each Townhouse Day in the last four years. However, student hospital transports on days other than Townhouse Day have exceeded that amount.

“Our job is to provide a safe environment for students to have a positive mentality about their own health and the way that they choose to have fun,” Dean of Students Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo said.

Security and Residential Life staff monitored the event for the past four years until the shooting of a Pace student caused police presence to be unwelcomed by students.

“After the loss of DJ Henry, police presence on campus was a difficult situation because students felt uncomfortable with armed police officers on a campus that doubles as their home,” Beatty said.

Police presence will be requested for events exceeding participation of over one thousand people in the coming years as part of the Master Plan.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department Chief of Police suggested that the school provide educational presentations to Pace students regarding alcohol and drug usage and sexual assault prevention in response to underage drinking and unsafe student activity during Townhouse Day.

“Whenever there is a collaboration with Pace Administration, Security, and a third party for the purposes of educating, I believe that it should always be an option,” Beatty said. “Police are a great source of training and education for students, security, and administration. Students tend to listen more to police because they can ultimately affect their lives outside of Pace.”

Despite student understanding of safety issues, many are frustrated by the lack of Administrative trust when expressing concern with Townhouse Day and were disappointed with the lack of student consultation.

Townhouse Hall Council continues to create a proposal for a new event that can be held in the spring in order to start a new tradition for townhouse residents and the Pleasantville campus. The details of this event have yet to be released, but the goal is to have a safe, yet enjoyable, environment for all students, regardless of their age.