Halloween Weekend Pink Out Rave Unites Student Body, Reduces Dorm Damage Cost

The college’s first Pink Out Rave, in honor of breast cancer awareness, was hosted outdoors on Oct. 28. The goal was to reduce dorm damage that usually occurs during Halloween weekend, though custodians still reported significant vandalism in nearby dorms.

Halloween Weekend Pink Out Rave Unites Student Body, Reduces Dorm Damage Cost
Custodians dealt with substantial damage in Morris Pratt Hall following the rave, they said. Photo courtesy of Amherst College.

On Oct. 28, the college’s first-ever Pink Out Rave brought the student body together under a Webster Circle tent for a night of music, dancing, pizza, drinks, and Halloween costumes, all in the name of breast cancer awareness. It was hosted in collaboration between the Association of Amherst Students (AAS), Student Engagement and Leadership, the Campus Activities Board, and the Office of Student Affairs.

The outdoor event was held over Halloween Weekend in an effort to reduce the high level of physical dorm damage that is typically seen during one of the college’s most intense weekends for partying each year, said AAS Senator Ayres Warren ’26.

Dorm repair costs were reduced from their typical Halloween Weekend level of around $25,000 to just $1,500 this year, Warren said. Despite this, custodians of Morris Pratt Dormitory, which sat opposite the rave tent’s entrance, reported that an extensive clean-up was still necessary after the party.

Ronald Perry works on the fourth floor and the basement level of Morris Pratt. When he came in to work on the Monday after the rave, the basement was covered with trash and mud.

Even on the fourth floor, which he said usually doesn’t see much vandalism over a normal weekend, Perry found substantial damage. In one bathroom, he found paper towel dispensers ripped off the walls and broken screens pulled from the windows. In other bathrooms, Perry encountered fake blood smeared over the walls, as well as throw-up and used feminine hygiene products on the bathroom floor.

Perry said that he thinks a lot of the damage is caused deliberately. “I don’t really understand why they do it,” he added.

Eric Baldwin, the other custodian in Morris Pratt, works to keep the first, second, and third floors clean.

“These are the kind of Mondays I dread,” Baldwin said of his first day back after the rave.

Baldwin spent several hours cleaning mud from the stairwells. He also had to repair exit signs that had been torn off the walls. Both Perry and Baldwin said that they are particularly concerned about exit signs and lights being ripped out of the walls because the mangled wires are a potential fire hazard.

While Perry and Baldwin both have experience cleaning up after parties, they emphasized that this time, their work took much longer than usual. Baldwin’s work on the first floor, alone, took from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

“I feel like I'm cleaning up after 5-year-olds sometimes,” Perry said. “I know it’s not about me, but as someone who puts a lot of time in here, it’s hard not to take it personal.”

The party, which was planned after positive student feedback to the White Out Rave last May, was part of an ongoing effort by the AAS to host more campus-wide events that are not affiliated with sports teams or clubs, Warren said.

The AAS now hopes to host one rave per semester. According to Warren, AAS officials are already in conversation with Angie Tissi-Gassoway, dean of students and chief student affairs officer, about hosting another rave this spring.