A bit of rain didn't spoil the Semester Start Party

Skrevet af Jonas RytterJørn AlbertusJesper Snedker Adamsen, (versioning) - Foto: Jørn Albertus - 11. september 2015 - 18:160 kommentarer
A bit of rain didn't ruin the festive spirit at Solbjerg Plads.

The sun broke through the clouds in the afternoon - and it brought the most peaceful Semester Start Party with it. 

Around 1 pm as the party got started, only a few groups of students occupy the area between Kilen and Solbjerg Plads. Some of them lounge in bean bags and some have brought blankets.

Most of the guests enjoy a sip of beer or cider bought in one of the Tuborg bars or in nearby supermarket Føtex.

In the days leading up to the event, the weather forecasts had been quite inconsistent as to what weather could be expected at the Semester Start Party; and it was inconsistent as the guests experienced both rays of sunlight, clouds and a bit of rain as well. 

Beer and pizza

In the early stages of the party, the two managing directors of Spisestuerne, Lars Winther and Jan Stoltenberg were busy setting up the food booth, which would later offer pizza and roast pork to the guests.

The Føtex supermarket in Frederiksberg Centret is surely having a great day and experiencing quite a boost in beer sales as there is a never-ending line of students dragging bags and crates of beer to the outdoor party area.

Many guests are having fun with beer relay races and beer bowling throughout the grassy area. It’s now 3 pm and the crowd has increased, but not much; a possible explanation could be that clouds are gathering above.

No one in line yet

On the terrace between NEXUS and the main entrance, security personnel are busy setting up crowd control barriers.

There is significant focus on the implementation of sufficient and efficient security measures at this year’s party, as it is critical for CBS to avoid a repetition of the unfortunate scenes that characterized last year’s party.

One of the new measures at this year’s party is the installation of information screens that will inform guests waiting in line on developments in relation to the capacity of the indoor facilities during the evening; the maximum capacity is 1,944 guests.

It’s buzzing at Solbjerg Plads

The large entrance hall at Solbjerg Plads is also buzzing with activity today, which is nothing new, but something is different: the Semester Start Party organizers are setting up bars and big screens.

There is a constant flow of students coming out of the library, but only a few going in the opposite direction; and most of them seem to have realized it is going to be hard to find a quiet place to study at Solbjerg Plads today.

The tables usually sitting outside NEXUS have been removed to make room for yet another bar and the dance floor. The halls are somewhat empty compared to the usual scenario at this hour; it’s the calm before the storm.

A few drops of rain bring people closer together

The clock is passed 4 pm; more guests have arrived and the same goes for the clouds - it has started to rain a little. The guests crowd under the various tents and cuddle up under umbrellas.

It never really starts to pour, but some guests choose to go inside to sit on the floor instead of the wet grass outside. However, it takes a lot more to prevent students at CBS from having a good time.

The sun breaks through the clouds

The rain finally stops as the sun starts to break through the clouds; it’s 5.30 pm and the festive spirit is really starting to emerge among the guests.

Groups of students are dispersed throughout the lawns; some on blankets and some under parasols, while others seem to have brought their living room to the party. Members of SweDen Students, the student organization for Swedish students, hand out ‘godisar’ (candy), while a group of students from the MSc in Finance and Accounting program conclude what they refer to as the ‘rosé wine season’ with a table filled with bottles of the pink wine.

Things are starting to heat up

The indoor facilities at Solbjerg Plads open at 7 pm and at 5.45 pm the first guests started getting in line.

The indoor party officially starts when President Per Holten-Andersen cuts the red ribbon at the entrance, which will trigger a stampede of students eager to get to the bar in a hurry.

The guests at the front of the line seem to have made some tactical considerations as they are sheltered from the rain in addition to being guaranteed early entry when the doors open.

The president cuts the ribbon and the line slowly starts to move; the guests have to show their student ID cards to get in, which averts an outright stampede, and much to our surprise, the guests do not immediately head for the bar as they get through the doors; instead, most of them head directly for the bathrooms: that’s the price for boozing while waiting in line for more than an hour…

It is now 7.05 pm and the DJs start their first sets of the evening, but the dance floor remains empty so far.

Watchmen on the lookout for anarchistic piddlers

CBS OBSERVER makes a round on campus.

Besides the significant security issues at last year’s party, the organizers also faced another problem: guests urinating hither and dither, which provoked a series of complaints from the surrounding community in the days following the event.

This year, the organizers are determined to avoid that problem by hiring four watchmen whose sole task of the evening is to patrol the campus area to catch guests ‘in the act’ and subsequently confiscate their student ID cards and eject them from the party.

And the ‘piddle patrol’ tells us that they have already ejected several guests from the party.

The urinal area gets swampy

More portable toilets and urinals have been set up compared to last; however, it is only 9 pm and most of them have reached their maximum capacity and the ground in the urinal area is starting to get wet and swampy and since it stopped raining several hours ago, it must be something other than water causing the irrigation…

A number of guests start to express their dissatisfaction with the fact that their shoes are getting wet, which prompts security personnel to accept that some guests are now favoring the vegetation in the area when they need to relieve themselves.

But overall, the organizers and CBS are headed in the right direction in terms of providing sufficient toilet facilities.

We come in peace

At last year’s party there were several incidents of violent disputes among students, which resulted in a number of ejections and some of the violent guests were actually arrested by police and charged with assault.

But this evening, security personnel and medics have not recorded any violent incidents and just one person has been ejected from the party due to “very provocative behavior”, as one of the guards describes it when asked by CBS OBSERVER.

The uniformed and competent guards from G4S are effectively preventing any violent escalation and are keen to interact with guests in a joking manner.

Some of the medics tell CBS OBSERVER that “you (students at CBS) are well-behaved”.

After the party, safety inspector Lars Bergø describes the party as the most peaceful in living memory. There were practically no incidents but a few disagreements that were competently de-escalated by the security personnel.

A party like a party should be

It is now 10.30 pm and the line in front of the main building is practically dissolved at this point. The organizers had hoped for a ‘natural flow’ of guests in and out of the building and it seems they have successfully achieved just that.

We talk to some of the guests in the entrance area and they tell us that they have been waiting in line for 30-45 minutes. That’s not too bad.

The pulsating dance floor

On the dance floor next to NEXUS the guests keep the party going full throttle. The DJs played mainly electronica earlier in the evening, but are now entertaining with more mainstream tracks.

MØ and especially Major Lazer’s hit song, Lean On, really get the dance floor going. The whole building is pulsating; the guests are having a great time and some have found lovers’ lane.

Some guests are still hanging out on the lawns; mostly groups of students discussing whether to go inside or head to one of the many bars in Copenhagen. Most of them wander out into the starry night.

At this point, the outdoor party area looks like a bomb dropped and even though ambitious bottle collectors have practically vacuumed the area in search of bottles, there is still a lot of trash lying around.

With that being said, the Semester Start Party went well.  The weather made a few mock attacks, but the sun managed to break through the clouds during the afternoon and with it came the festive spirit.

There were no ‘rough and tumble’ disputes and the line in front of the main building moved smoothly throughout the evening.

In conclusion; the new semester was kicked off in style.