Crowd Control at NSO Parent Parting Ceremony
Image via Kollin Washington, Managing Editor of Visual Media
By: Colin Royal, Managing Editor of Print
The Parent Parting Ceremony is one of the most heartfelt and touching moments during the entirety of New Student Orientation (NSO). Parents release their children, while entrusting the institution to mold their sons into young men of Morehouse. However, this year’s ceremony provided a different reality.
Mid-way through the Parent Parting Ceremony, banging and commotion could be heard at the front of Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Parents were crowding around the front entrance; each of them desperate to get into the chapel to be a part of their son’s entrance into Morehouse. The uproar resulted in a man fainting from some sort of heat exhaustion.
One of the parents was infuriated and proceeded to make his way to the front door with his wife and father. He attempted to enter the chapel, and the doors were shut in his face. This enraged the parent who began pounding on the entrance.
He eventually forced himself into the chapel where he verbally and physically confronted a campus police officer. His wife also added to the commotion by screaming hysterically and arguing with NSO leaders, faculty, and campus officials.
Before the situation could escalate further, an older gentleman who accompanied the couple fainted. This quickly deescalated the situation and led to all parties to attend to the fallen elder. EMT’s were called to the scene to attend to the older gentleman.
Despite parents’ pleas, entrance was denied to them because the chapel had exceeded its maximum capacity. Every crevice of the building was packed to accommodate as many people as possible.
An NSO leader explained that they counted 800 seats for 826 freshmen prior to the event. Moments before the event began, those seating arrangements were changed because of new programming, which was added by Morehouse administration.
The drastic shift in seating created a huge issue, which caused an increase to an already immense overflow of people, which had to be handled on the spot.
The event was very impactful on various NSO leaders. Each felt a level of stress and anxiety as a result of all the commotion; a NSO leader was even carried to the bathroom in tears.
“I didn’t expect this. This is extremely hectic. I’m still going to do my job though,” one NSO leader said.
When questioned about the unraveling of security, another NSO leader explained how the communication between campus police, administration, and themselves fell apart.
“Everyone was saying something different,” he said.
He went on to explain how they had successful student-led programming the prior day, and how the Parent Parting Ceremony fell apart as a result of too many additions on behalf of the administration. According to this NSO leader, the most frustrating part of the entire ordeal was that the administration was looking at NSO leaders like they were at fault.
Copy Edited by: Auzzy Byrdsell, Editor in Chief