Flash rave in University of Tennessee Knoxville's Hodges Library, again

9:24 PM, Dec 7, 2009   |    comments
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  • Rave at UT's Hodges Library in May 2009. Courtesy: Jonathan Barrow
    

It seems it's quickly becoming tradition at the University of Tennessee.

Once a semester, Hodges Library becomes "Club Hodges"

Friday night, hundreds took to the library for a pre-finals party, including junior Austin Sabel, who was along the outer wall shooting video of the whole fandango.

"I sent the video to my mom in an email, and she goes, 'I'm very proud of you, you weren't in the middle.' I laughed," Sabel said.

Students call it a flash rave.

They show up--this time, an estimated 1500 students--play music, and jump around. It's like a house party but inside the library.

"I think the joy about it is it gives everybody a chance to relax," Sabel said.

"They come in, they play music, they jump around for a few minutes, and that's pretty much it," Captain Keith Lambert, of the University of Tennessee Police Department, said.

Actually arranged months in advance, Facebook managed to get most students in on the idea well before Friday night's actual event.

UTPD was even in on it. Plain clothes officers as well as uniformed officers were inside, keeping everything to a low roar.

"We feel it will be safer for us to manage the event rather than try to come in and try to shut the event down or keep people from organizing like that. I think that's where you have potential for serious escalation from both sides," Lambert said.

A similar party last spring at UT-Chattanooga saw police break out pepper spray and resulted in a handful of arrests.

The flash rave is something popping up at universities across the country. Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Kentucky students all shared footage of similar parties on YouTube.

"It's been very low key for us, college aged students just having some fun," Lambert said.

One student was arrested Friday night, after the event had ended, for public intoxication. Lambert says within about a half hour, everything at the library was back to normal, and there was no damage that they are aware of.

"I don't see anything that would prevent it from occurring again in the spring and next fall," he said.

"I will absolutely go again, it was fun," Sabel said.

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