Senior rave leaves library unscathed

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During finals week, the feeling of stress and pressure fills the air in Mary Couts Burnett Library. A group of graduating seniors decided to add a little fun.

At a scheduled time of 8:57 p.m. on Wednesday night, the "quiet section" of the library got loud with blaring music and an estimated 250 to 300 people dancing, the creator the of event, Spencer Jackson said.

Jackson, a graduating senior Business Information Systems major, said he started a Facebook group with just a few of his friends to see if he could get people to do a "flashmob." The idea was inspired by videos he had seen on YouTube of people spontaneously breaking out in song or dance in public places.

What started with three people grew to over 500 in the Facebook group, Jackson said.

"I was surprised how well it went," Jackson said. "You don't know how many people are going to show up or what it's going to be like."

It wasn't just music and dancing, either. A light show, glow sticks, beach balls, a man in boxers and cowboy boots, and a crowd surfing woman in a Pikachu costume were just some of the highlights surrounding the impromptu rave.

LeAnn Glenn, a library specialist, was on duty during the event. She said they didn't notice anything damaged at the library.

"I thought it was harmless. Just fun," Glenn said. The library staff did receive one complaint about the event from someone studying, she said.

Jackson said someone from the library did approach him to stop the rave, but after Jackson asked for a few more minutes, the man decided to let them finish the 10 minute playlist Jackson made for the event.

Jackson said another reason he decided to do a rave in the library was because seniors last year did a "silent rave" with no music from external speakers.

"I knew we could do it much better than that," he said.

Jackson asked three students from the Film-Television-Digital Media department to help film the event from multiple vantage points. Once they are done editing the video, Jackson said it will be posted online.

Although Jackson organized the group, he said he didn't deserve all the credit.

"I just want to thank everyone that participated and helped out. It took a lot of people to organize this and get the speakers, lights, music, and everything together in time for this event," he said.

Jackson said he wanted to challenge the class of 2012 to dream big and do something better for next year.

"The bar has been set," he said.

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