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Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns 
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Post Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
The New England Anime Society and Anime Boston are committed to providing a safe and entertaining convention for our members. We pride ourselves on the work that we do to ensure that fun can be had by all by providing a variety of programming options for all ages. One such example of this programming is our informal dances. This year, for the first time, we ran into some problems.

I assure you that we’re actively working to ensure that next year’s dance can be successful and safe for all attendees. We’re discussing a variety of changes internally, including increasing the amount of onsite security and medical staff. On Friday, April 27, we’ll be sitting down with the Sheraton to review our ideas. Be assured that we will work with both hotel management and city officials towards a solution that addresses this year’s problems. As soon as a plan is finalized and approved by all of our partners, we’ll post it on our website.

What actually happened is much less dire than rumors have indicated. Two events required response during Saturday night’s dance. First, a medical emergency occurred; EMT’s were called in to remove a dance attendee for treatment. Next, an alleged theft of a bag took place. Boston Police arrived and conducted their investigation on-site, and during their inquiry, marijuana was found. An arrest followed.

The dance was ultimately closed down due to perceived overcrowding issues. The hotel is addressing these concerns directly on behalf of Anime Boston to ensure that we don’t have this sort of problem in the future.

We are working with both hotel and city management to ensure that Anime Boston can offer great programming for all of its attendees in the years to come. Please watch our web site, forums, Facebook and Twitter for more information as it develops.

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Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:31 am
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
My .02 is that there should be more security on hand. I left the Saturday night dance early, apparently just before mayhem broke out. I was hearing stories of fights, drinking, and apparently a rumor of someone throwing things at poor Greg while he was on stage trying to do his "job." (D.J.ing seems too fun to be considered a real job.) While I was in there, I saw some really indecent *ahem* "dancing," could smell marijuana really badly, and saw quite a few people that looked like they had one too many. I can see how some of these things would be really hard to catch without a full on pat-down before entry which is not very practical as some people go in dressed in full costume, but if someone is obviously drunk, they have no business being allowed in. Also in years prior, I've noticed the security had more of a presence in the dance to keep things somewhat in line. I've been broken apart from someone for just kissing while dancing a few years ago, and there were things way worse going on this year with security nowhere in sight. I also understand that security is mostly a volunteer thing, but an event like the informal dance needs to be monitored a bit more closely than it was this year.

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Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:07 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Well it's not any news that some sort of drug was being passed around. Everyone knew, even kids who didn't attend the dance. What I think needs to be address here is younger kids fooling around with older kids.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:18 am
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
NobiZero wrote:
My .02 is that there should be more security on hand. I left the Saturday night dance early, apparently just before mayhem broke out. I was hearing stories of fights, drinking, and apparently a rumor of someone throwing things at poor Greg while he was on stage trying to do his "job." (D.J.ing seems too fun to be considered a real job.) While I was in there, I saw some really indecent *ahem* "dancing," could smell marijuana really badly, and saw quite a few people that looked like they had one too many. I can see how some of these things would be really hard to catch without a full on pat-down before entry which is not very practical as some people go in dressed in full costume, but if someone is obviously drunk, they have no business being allowed in. Also in years prior, I've noticed the security had more of a presence in the dance to keep things somewhat in line. I've been broken apart from someone for just kissing while dancing a few years ago, and there were things way worse going on this year with security nowhere in sight. I also understand that security is mostly a volunteer thing, but an event like the informal dance needs to be monitored a bit more closely than it was this year.



Hi!

I agree that it's important to have a security presence at the informal dance, which is why it's always an "all hands on deck" event for security. This year was no different, and we had lots of staff on hand. While we always try to escort people who drank too much before the dance back to their rooms, sometimes the signs of intoxication are not as obvious in some subjects as in others. People who smoke pot smell like pot, so that's no surprise, although we didn't see any of it happening *inside* the dance, which is really all we can control. And as I have already said, we will not ever have people frisked before going into the dance. I'm just not comfortable violating people's rights in that way, private event or not. I am confident with some tweaks to the existing dance regulations we can make sure everyone continues to have a fun, safe time without having to truck out all kinds of invasive new rules. A lot of the stuff that's been said about the dance this year has been blown out of proportion, but it absolutely pointed out some areas where modified regulations would be more helpful. If you have any additional suggestions, feel free to drop me a PM.

Thanks

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Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:01 am
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I've not gone to any of the Informal Dances, but from passing by them over the years I have noticed that they always seem WAY overcrowded.
Perhaps AB Security needs to find a good way of controlling how many are actually in the room at a given time.

I remember one year passing by they had HUGE fans set up at all the doors into the room being used, and I could still feel the heat being given off by all the people. When it feels like you're standing next to a furnace when you're outside the room and on the other side of the hall, there are TOO MANY people in the room.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:28 am
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Fetch wrote:
I've not gone to any of the Informal Dances, but from passing by them over the years I have noticed that they always seem WAY overcrowded.
Perhaps AB Security needs to find a good way of controlling how many are actually in the room at a given time.

I remember one year passing by they had HUGE fans set up at all the doors into the room being used, and I could still feel the heat being given off by all the people. When it feels like you're standing next to a furnace when you're outside the room and on the other side of the hall, there are TOO MANY people in the room.


I think that may be a function of the high level of activity moreso than any overcrowding. We do monitor the dance attendance for fire code reasons and we've never had more people in the room than the stated maximum, including event staff and DJ staff. If there was anyplace that we will be clearing out more aggressively to reduce perceived crowding issues, it will be the hallways outside the dance, where people tend to loiter.

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Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
honestly thank god I didn't go to the dance on Saturday, cause I would have had to see all that chaos. But In my opinion for AB next year they should have tighter security for the dance. and I don't mean the no bags allowed thing. I mean strip search. because stupid ppl would carry drugs on them in their pockets and what not. and if they have that stuff on them don't let them in at all. ppl like that just wanna ruin the con for everybody. and another thing that should happen is make it 18+ instead of all ages. because its usually kids who do that I saw a 16 or 17 year old drunk out of her mind. so they basically want to be adults and make stupid decisions.

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Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:47 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
allanimerules1 wrote:
honestly thank god I didn't go to the dance on Saturday, cause I would have had to see all that chaos. But In my opinion for AB next year they should have tighter security for the dance. and I don't mean the no bags allowed thing. I mean strip search. because stupid ppl would carry drugs on them in their pockets and what not. and if they have that stuff on them don't let them in at all. ppl like that just wanna ruin the con for everybody. and another thing that should happen is make it 18+ instead of all ages. because its usually kids who do that I saw a 16 or 17 year old drunk out of her mind. so they basically want to be adults and make stupid decisions.


Maybe you were exaggerating, but there is absolutely no way we would ever do something like strip search people to let them in the dance.

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Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
allanimerules1 wrote:
honestly thank god I didn't go to the dance on Saturday, cause I would have had to see all that chaos. But In my opinion for AB next year they should have tighter security for the dance. and I don't mean the no bags allowed thing. I mean strip search. because stupid ppl would carry drugs on them in their pockets and what not. and if they have that stuff on them don't let them in at all. ppl like that just wanna ruin the con for everybody. and another thing that should happen is make it 18+ instead of all ages. because its usually kids who do that I saw a 16 or 17 year old drunk out of her mind. so they basically want to be adults and make stupid decisions.


While I think the no bag rule will be sufficient to ensure we needn't strip everybody naked, I can assure you that the 18+ suggestion is absolutely on the table.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
It says in the current rules that bags smaller than 8 inches are allowed. I dont know if this is already procedure, but these small bags should definetely be searched. Like, all of them, everyone, no matter what. Banning them entirely might present issues though, because people need to carry things like phones, ID (especially if you make it 18+), room keys, feminine hygiene products, etc.

As for making it 18+, this should be done if the dances are going to continue to be as wild as they are now. To be honest, im surprised they havent always been 18+.

People who are obviously under the influence of drugs/alcohol should not be allowed in, but i understand that some people are going to slip under the radar. If this is the case, there should be adequate security inside the dance to deal with that. People who are found to be in possession of/doing illegal things should be kicked out/arrested/whatever is appropriate for the particular offense they allegedly committed. This would include the people who were supposedly having sex on the dance floor, since that would be lewd conduct, indecent exposure, or somtheing of that nature.

If possible, having a few boston cops inside the dance and/or at the door might help ensure that these rules are enforced. It might be too expensive, or just unrealistic for some other reason, but its a thought.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I didn't mean to strip them naked lol I ment like checking their pockets, and breathalyzers should be used. but then again that would make the line alot longer for ppl waiting to get it. but ya I say just make it 18+

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I have an idea, the dance should have a bag and coat check.
Just print out pictures of different anime characters, put them on the bags/coats with clothes pins and give a copy of the picture to the owner of the bag/coat. When the owner comes to get their object back, they give their picture to the staff. The staff member then finds the bag and gives it back to the owner. This would only need a few staff members to run, so it will not affect much with security measures. If there is an emergency, then one staff member could stay with the bags.

This insures that there is no theft, and the staff members can check the bags when they are given to them.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:27 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
pirateprincessk wrote:
I have an idea, the dance should have a bag and coat check.
Just print out pictures of different anime characters, put them on the bags/coats with clothes pins and give a copy of the picture to the owner of the bag/coat. When the owner comes to get their object back, they give their picture to the staff. The staff member then finds the bag and gives it back to the owner. This would only need a few staff members to run, so it will not affect much with security measures. If there is an emergency, then one staff member could stay with the bags.

This insures that there is no theft, and the staff members can check the bags when they are given to them.


...or you could just use tickets like they give out for raffles. You can buy those in pretty big rolls for not that much money and I think it'd be more efficient than printed out pictures of anime characters which I imagine would be more expensive than just tickets.

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Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:17 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Glad to hear the hotel's management getting pulled in front of the mayor's office over all this didn't result in them trying to force you to ax it entirely. That would have probably upset some people.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
honestly, everyone should have to take a breathalyzer test and be patted down and bag searched and empty their pockets before entering, to avoid drugs and alcohol.

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Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:31 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I love attending the informal dance each year, and I have attended this dance as an "under eighteen". I feel that age shouldn't be very important for admittance. It depends entirely on the person- I would trust some kids in any situation, but never trust some adults. The responsibility of each attendee depends on their personality, not age. However, a through personality examination is obviously impossible at the door. I feel the easiest way to supervise this dance is decreasing the size. Perhaps implementing a ticket system, such as the one for the formal dance, would work?

Increased security would be good, as well. There may be staff members around the outside of the room, but I've never seen one on the floor. That's where the nasty happens.

Regardless of the unfortunate events this year, I'm confident in Anime Boston's ability to work out the kinks. I hope the dance isn't canceled entirely, as it's always really fun. Greg and the DJs did a great job :)

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
they are gonna search for the bags so without drink it is not gonna be awesome :D get high before you go there


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
GoodbyMyLover wrote:
they are gonna search for the bags so without drink it is not gonna be awesome :D get high before you go there


Stay classy!

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
kmcwilliams94 wrote:
honestly, everyone should have to take a breathalyzer test and be patted down and bag searched and empty their pockets before entering, to avoid drugs and alcohol.


That would take a very long time to get everyone in, not to mention violate all of your constitutional rights. Why are you kids all so keen on my violating your constitutional rights? I'd really rather wait until someone does something wrong before treating them like they've done something wrong.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
lordshamus wrote:
That would take a very long time to get everyone in, not to mention violate all of your constitutional rights. Why are you kids all so keen on my violating your constitutional rights? I'd really rather wait until someone does something wrong before treating them like they've done something wrong.


Let us cut out the middle man and have no dancing at all. It'll be like footloose, only without Kevin Bacon

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Honestly, I think all you need is more security and a bag check. I think if people weren't allowed to bring bags in AT ALL to the dances, it would help prevent anything like this from happening again. I know there is currently rules about no bags over 8 inches I think, but you can fit a surprising amount of stuff into something so little, especially "illegal substances" and while I know this won't solve the problem 100%, I think a bag check with a raffle ticket system (the big rolls where you have the 2 tickets, one you keep and one you'd staple to the bag or attach it somehow so it won't get lost. People can easily slip the ticket into their pockets, name badges, shoes, socks, whatever to prevent it from getting lost.
Connecticon has a bag check enforced for both their Dealer Room and Gaming Room due to past issues they had with both and it seems to work well for them. -shrug- Just my suggestions really.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I was busy hamming it up on stage at hentai dubbing when the fiasco occurred, I had informants there and what I was told more or less mirrors the official story, (if slightly less sugar coated) really I was mildly annoyed because I was planning to head there until closing, as a consequence of this absurd behavior I had to leave early.

I hardly see how anime Boston or the larger anime fan community can be held responsible for the absurd behavior of a few fools who happened to dance themselves into a stupor or engage in illicit activities. That's life, people often do that which they should know better than to do. The best that can be done is what has already been done which is to assure better security in future.

We as con goers should also take the responsibility and initiative to obey the staff and officials when they give directives and proceed in a calm and orderly fashion. That, and a degree of reason, (ie not using illegal drugs in public and going to a dance in a medically unstable state) should go as a matter of course, and if it doesn't, then a simple, hey this person needs help, and a clearing of the way may prevent such closings in future.

We are social animals and the herd instinct is hard to shake, but if we resist the urge to riot then the party won't be shut down early...

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Caesar wrote:
I was busy hamming it up on stage at hentai dubbing when the fiasco occurred, I had informants there and what I was told more or less mirrors the official story, (if slightly less sugar coated) really I was mildly annoyed because I was planning to head there until closing, as a consequence of this absurd behavior I had to leave early.

I hardly see how anime Boston or the larger anime fan community can be held responsible for the absurd behavior of a few fools who happened to dance themselves into a stupor or engage in illicit activities. That's life, people often do that which they should know better than to do. The best that can be done is what has already been done which is to assure better security in future.

We as con goers should also take the responsibility and initiative to obey the staff and officials when they give directives and proceed in a calm and orderly fashion. That, and a degree of reason, (ie not using illegal drugs in public and going to a dance in a medically unstable state) should go as a matter of course, and if it doesn't, then a simple, hey this person needs help, and a clearing of the way may prevent such closings in future.

We are social animals and the herd instinct is hard to shake, but if we resist the urge to riot then the party won't be shut down early...


HOLY CRAP, LOGIC! THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
lordshamus wrote:
kmcwilliams94 wrote:
honestly, everyone should have to take a breathalyzer test and be patted down and bag searched and empty their pockets before entering, to avoid drugs and alcohol.


That would take a very long time to get everyone in, not to mention violate all of your constitutional rights. Why are you kids all so keen on my violating your constitutional rights? I'd really rather wait until someone does something wrong before treating them like they've done something wrong.


I don't think many people are thinking about what they're really asking for. Think of what it's like getting onto an airplane nowadays. It's slow, everyone's grumpy, and we'd all rather not have to take off our shoes, hats and belts, empty our pockets, show 15 fifteen forms of identification, get x-rayed, and get patted down. Some of you are basically asking Anime Boston to do the same thing to get into a dance.

To put it in a slightly different context, if you're walking down the street and pass a police officer, he or she can't just start searching your bag and doing a breathalyzer test unless you're doing something to make them suspect that these searches are necessary (ex: you're stumbling around and slurring your words while getting your car keys out). As Shamus points out, you have a Constitutional right against[/u] unlawful searches and seizures. Without reasonable suspicion, the police can't just go door-to-door searching everyone. For this reason, security needs to be a bit reactionary for things like bag searches and breathalyzers (this last one really is the BPD's thing, anyway).

We live in a society based upon a presumption that people start out as law-abiding citizens. You can't just go treating people like criminals until they (each) give you a [i]specific
reason to.

(FWIW, yes, I am drastically oversimplifying the 4th Amendment and the scope of the laws and rulings interpreting it, but this post would be waaay too long otherwise)

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I personally did see a lot of inappropriate dancing at the dances on both days, but I didn't see any drug use inside the dance itself. (Or perhaps I just missed it?)

I think checking pockets and not allowing bags in would help. 8 inch bags are really easy to hide things in.

Being an -18 guest myself, I can't say I'm in favor of making it 18+ only.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
As to the whole bag check/bag size regulation shebang...

This is exactly why I have never taken a bag of any size in to the dance in all my five years of attending Anime Boston. I just don't see why anyone would need one. No need to bring makeup, etc. when no one can see any imperfections in the dark and chaos. As of yet (though there's no call on next year) there hasn't been any need to have personal I.D or money on hand, so no need for a wallet. And who are you going to call on your cell in there, with all that noise? Name an item that you can put in a purse or small bag, and I bet you won't need it to dance. Should you decide to go out after you're done there, there is no reason you can't go back to your room to get such things.

Each time I go I put a hotel key in the lanyard with my con I.D under my shirt, and a few dollars (between 2 and 5) in a deep pocket, and I do just fine. Just sayin'.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I didn't attend the dance on Friday or Saturday even though I had been planning to. I had passed by part of the line to get in multiple times over the course of the night, and personally, I felt that it would be an unsafe event to attend. It was obvious that most of the people in the hallway were only there for the dance itself and not interested in the anime aspects of the convention. My friends and I also encountered a good number of "con crashers" over the weekend. I have no problem with non-anime fans attending the dances or the con itself, but many of these people frightened me. For instance, I saw a young guy shove a girl down so that she nearly hit her head against an elevator door, then pick her up and say to his friend that she "had enough drugs in her" that it wouldn't matter. I worried for myself and others and feel that something definitely needs to be done. Everyone should be allowed to go to the dance if they have a badge whether they attend the rest of the con's activities or not, but something really needs to be done especially in the hallways. My friends and I were in a big group, but we all decided going to the dance was a bad idea because of the people we saw waiting to get in. Conventions should be fun, safe environments, not a place to fear.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
SeychellesIslands wrote:
Being an -18 guest myself, I can't say I'm in favor of making it 18+ only.


I personally think that making it even 16+ will help, because it keeps all the really young kids that have no place being there, out. It's just awkward to me (being 24) when I'm talking to someone in the line for the Informal and I ask them how old they are and their 14 years old.

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
These incidents seem isolated and it appears that they had nothing to with each other. I have attended many AB informal dances and I have not witnessed anything mentioned in the news article.

I don't believe the AB security staff encourages or condones drug use and if they had seen it or suspected it they would have taken necessary steps to stop it.

Fighting is always a concern when you have large gatherings, but there is security there to diffuse any conflicts or to contact authorities if necessary.

I have no idea what was the cause of the female that was passed out, but again, the security is present to remedy the situation. I do know that the AB staff reminds dance attendees to stay hydrated as well as provide them with water to do so.

As for overcrowding, I was under the impression that each venue has a capacity and the AB staff will not admit anywhere near that maximum number of people, for the sole purpose of not breaking fire code. That is what I as told in the past, but I cannot guarantee that it is true. It was mentioned before that it was the perception of the police officers that it was overcrowded, but there were no violations.

I love AB and having been a DJ and attendee of the informal Dances I can say that it is one of the most fun and memorable parts of AB. I have no suggestions for the security staff because I think you guys and gals have been doing a great job year in and year out. I hope next year the attendees will be more conscious of their decisions and how it effects the perception of the con as a whole.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Lapis_Lupus wrote:
As to the whole bag check/bag size regulation shebang...

This is exactly why I have never taken a bag of any size in to the dance in all my five years of attending Anime Boston. I just don't see why anyone would need one.

It's not fair to say just because you see no point in having a bag means they should not allow them. I do see a point in someone having a small bag with items they may need, especially when it comes to females.

gumdropmouse wrote:
I didn't attend the dance on Friday or Saturday even though I had been planning to. I had passed by part of the line to get in multiple times over the course of the night, and personally, I felt that it would be an unsafe event to attend. It was obvious that most of the people in the hallway were only there for the dance itself and not interested in the anime aspects of the convention.

This is profiling. It makes no sense for people to purchase a $50 pass for a 4 hour dance. It is unfortunate that you do not feel safe, hopefully in the future you will get the chance to experience the informal dance. It is a lot of fun.


Thank you AB staff for not intending to violate my 4th Amendment rights.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Mr.Saturn wrote:
It's not fair to say just because you see no point in having a bag means they should not allow them. I do see a point in someone having a small bag with items they may need, especially when it comes to females.

Oops, I didn't mean for it to sound that way, lol. I don't mean for them to ban them, I just mean for people to seriously consider what they would desperately need during/at the informal dance while in a crowd or in the hall before packing their purse into a backpack-type thing and heading down. And as to the whole female thing...I AM female, lol. I know what you're getting at I think, with the need for feminine supplies at that time of the month. Every year I pray that and AB don't line up, and I've been prety lucky so far. But they do make and sell small sachets for just such a purpose, that hold two to 3 "items" (if you get me) comfortably and that fit in a pocket quite nicely. I own one myself.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I'm no constitutional scholar, but it's a bit disingenuous to bring restrictions placed upon government bodies and their entities up when it comes to measures for securing private events. So long as you're not violating the civil rights of a protected class, causing someone to break the law or injure themselves by following your orders, etc. any restrictions or requirements for gaining entry to a private event aren't bound by 4th amendment protections any more than modding someone on these forums violates 1st amendment protections. Which is to say, AB security (individuals not beholden to governmental restrictions) can technically get away with requiring all sorts of security screenings than Boston police (being agents of the state) could require of you without probable cause or a warrant. The bill of rights is a list of restrictions on government, not private individuals or groups.

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Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Well put, Bashar. AB may very well implement a brief screening before entering the dance, but I don't think the screening would have prevented any of the incidents that occurred at the dance, excluding the unconscious girl because I don't have the details as to why she was unconscious in the first place.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
One is not subject to illegal search or seizure, however as it's a private event the host may impose things like a search of bags, and seizure of illegal substances before granting entry to a guest. The guest has right of refusal to the search, and the host has right of refusal in regards to granting a guest entry. In this way no warrant is needed as consent to the search is given. Sorry if this has been posted, was just the simplest way I could think to answer. I don't think it's a bad idea, clubs give you a pat down and check bags, and realistically the dance is much like a small dance club.


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Constitutionality of private searches aside, here's another view:

Does anyone here think that the sort of patdowns a person receives going into an arena to see a rock concert - which is exactly the sort of patdown people are advocating here - are actually effective?

They aren't.

Those security personnel are allowed to run their hands along your arms and your legs and the sides of your torso to check for a large item such as a firearm in a hip or ankle holster, and that's it. They cannot (or won't) touch your boobies, your bum, your crotch, or any private areas, or even the tops of your inner thighs because they do not want the liability to a sexual harrassment suit that that level of contact would create. Anyone who is serious about getting any illegal substance or item into anywhere knows that much. Most concert security no longer attempt to control attempts to bring in cameras, since every phone nowadays is equipped with one, but I have frequently brought my camera in with me simply by tucking it into the waist of my jeans behind my belt buckle. No security personnel's hands even come within a foot of that area.

Patdowns at rock concerts - and even some of those quick, non-thorough patdowns some people get at an airport - are Security Theater, not real security. They are designed to provide people with the illusion of safety. They might find a large item strapped to someone's ankle, but they will not find anything small that is hidden on the torso, particularly when having to process a large number of people very quickly. Including a patdown to attend the dance will NOT keep people from bringing in prohibited items - how easy is it to tuck a small flask or plastic baggie into the waistband of your pants? And, as others have pointed out, patdowns do nothing to keep people from drinking before they arrive - some people can manage to appear sober when the situation demands it, and then can cut loose once they're in the door.

Including a patdown will make it take longer to get into the dance while providing no benefit in terms of security, and while simultaneously opening AB and AB's security staff to dangerous accusations of wandering hands and sexual harrassment. In short, any security patdown that AB could implement without opening themselves to a world of potential legal troubles would not be effective, and any effective security patdown (Wheeee, love those cavity searches! Pants off and grab your ankles, everyone!) could not actually be feasibly implemented.

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Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:17 am
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Just to clarify, yes, I know I can violate your fourth amendment rights. We're a private event. This does not change my position on the subject; I don't want to, and unless I am ordered to, I won't. I don't think it would help.

"No bags" would help, although I am sensitive to the needs of our female attendees. Bear in mind, however, that any bag large enough to carry your keycard and a couple tampons can easily accommodate a couple nips of vodka and enough molly to roll an elephant. I will be advocating for some kind of bag check next year, with a firm "no bags at all" policy for the dance itself.

I also think 18+ would help, though that does leave us the issue of what the rest of you will do while the grownups are all thrashing about and sweating on each other. But that would be programming's problem, so I'll stop worrying about that right now. ;-)

I'm glad you're all tossing these issues around so early in the year; it will help the staff have a more fruitful discussion when the time comes to plan next year's dance.

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Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:10 am
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
My senior prom actually had a breathalyzer test at the door before anyone was allowed in to make sure they hadn't drank anything in the limo on the way there. it was quick and there were no lines. you could start as people we're waiting in line the half hour before. just an idea but it worked at the prom


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
6heart6agram6 wrote:
My senior prom actually had a breathalyzer test at the door before anyone was allowed in to make sure they hadn't drank anything in the limo on the way there. it was quick and there were no lines. you could start as people we're waiting in line the half hour before. just an idea but it worked at the prom


As I said, I don't want to do anything that violates anybody's rights, even if I am technically allowed to. We have rules against being publicly intoxicated, but if an attendee who is of age wants to go down to the bar and have a drink before they come to the dance, I have no reason to tell them they can't. If I am off-duty I might even join them.

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Tue May 01, 2012 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
I dont think we need any searches - there seems to be enough inappropriate touching at the dance already.

I re-read the drugs / alcohol and it seems like AB has a zero tolorence for such things, so I think that if there is a greater threat of them losing out on their weekend (and maybe having a phone call to mom and dad to come get them from Uncle Shamus) that might make people less inclined to be overly drunk.

Does the Sheraton share some of this liablity? Esp. if the drinking happened in one of their hotel rooms? I am curious about the host liquor liability...


And thats another thing, now host liquor liability is like this - You have a party and youre serving alcohol. Little Billy Otaku hits the sake too hard and goes out for some misadventure. As the person who was providing the liquor, you can be liable for what your friends do.


And giving alcohol to minors is a big bad idea.

So I think these are reasons to be more careful with your convention partying.

And I think that if attendees who want open access to the dance should put negative social pressure on the people who want to party to excess. "Don't be an @$$hat, bro"


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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
gumdropmouse wrote:
For instance, I saw a young guy shove a girl down so that she nearly hit her head against an elevator door, then pick her up and say to his friend that she "had enough drugs in her" that it wouldn't matter. I worried for myself and others and feel that something definitely needs to be done.


Gumdropmouse, you raise a valid point. Security doesn't end with the folks wearing designated security tees and vest. It's up to all con-goers to look out for each other and report an instance that is against con rules. Conventions are about having fun and celebrating a unique clique in a controlled environment that's safe for everyone. The responsibility of keeping the boundaries of the convention is the staff, but it's up to the attendees to respect the convention and what the staff is doing to make that convention work.

There are always going to be "bad eggs" in every batch, abandoning common sense and acting dumb at the cost of those who mean well. No matter how hard anyone tries to segregate the "bad" from the "good", it's going to happen on some level. Not everyone will respect the "Zero Tolerance" AB has standardized, but if most make the right call and report when someone is behaving outside of a sober mind or is on the wrong side of the law, the majority wins.

And really, who doesn't like winning?


Tue May 01, 2012 6:39 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Mr.Saturn wrote:

gumdropmouse wrote:
I didn't attend the dance on Friday or Saturday even though I had been planning to. I had passed by part of the line to get in multiple times over the course of the night, and personally, I felt that it would be an unsafe event to attend. It was obvious that most of the people in the hallway were only there for the dance itself and not interested in the anime aspects of the convention.

This is profiling. It makes no sense for people to purchase a $50 pass for a 4 hour dance. It is unfortunate that you do not feel safe, hopefully in the future you will get the chance to experience the informal dance. It is a lot of fun.


Oh jeez I didn't mean to come off as though I was "profiling".
Like I said before, I really have no problem with non-anime fans attending the con's activities. I know it doesn't seem practical to spend $50 on a pass to get in for a few hours, but there are people who spend the money to get in and harass cosplayers and other con-goers. It's silly, but that's how bullies work I suppose. One of my friends encountered a group of them on Friday. Not pleasant people at all. However, I do trust the staff to look out for the above mentioned people.

I have attended an informal dance at another con. It was indeed a good time ^__^


Tue May 01, 2012 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Just feel like throwing in my dime of good will. -toss-

While I was not in attendence at this years AB, due to my own misfortunes and I sobbed the whole three days at work trust me, I have been a constant Con-Go'er for many years now. I usually go to the dances every Saturday too, just to say I went and see what kind of craziness was going on this year. After reading an NEWSPAPER ARTICLE (woah) about what happened this year, and some feedback in this thread, to be honest Im not surprised. People are foolish. Lolol. While we can't control what people do outside of the con/in their hotel rooms we can at least try to keep them safer inside.

For instance, Im totally in favor of making the dances 18+ only. That's the greatest idea I've ever heard, as a dance attendee myself it worries me when I see like 14 year olds going nuts on the floor. I think for further safety of minors, perhaps we could implement a new badge code that helps determine someones age. Like a special printed character or sticker that goes on your badge to help determine if your a minor or not. That way when your getting admitted into an event, such as an 18+ dance if it goes through or other panels, they can get turned away politely before something goes down. That also brings up the issue of "just using someones badge to get in." Clearly if someone looks like they are 14/15 and are using an older persons badge to get in, they should be asked for an ID before being let in. It helps keep incidents like this from happening at least not on the con grounds and helps keep everyone safe and happy.

Just a thought. dance on. \w/

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Wed May 02, 2012 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Hiroki-kun wrote:
Clearly if someone looks like they are 14/15 and are using an older persons badge to get in, they should be asked for an ID before being let in. It helps keep incidents like this from happening at least not on the con grounds and helps keep everyone safe and happy.

Okay, that may work if someone looks 14, but what if they are 17? At 17, they are still underage but it's not so easy to notice and letting them into an 18+ event could still have liability issues for the con.

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Wed May 02, 2012 3:48 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Dragonmaster Lou wrote:
Hiroki-kun wrote:
Clearly if someone looks like they are 14/15 and are using an older persons badge to get in, they should be asked for an ID before being let in. It helps keep incidents like this from happening at least not on the con grounds and helps keep everyone safe and happy.

Okay, that may work if someone looks 14, but what if they are 17? At 17, they are still underage but it's not so easy to notice and letting them into an 18+ event could still have liability issues for the con.

Oh, a great point! :D
Perhaps then a mandatory ID check then for all 18+ events are in order? At 22, Im still being carded for just about everything.

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Wed May 02, 2012 3:52 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Hiroki-kun wrote:
Dragonmaster Lou wrote:
Hiroki-kun wrote:
Clearly if someone looks like they are 14/15 and are using an older persons badge to get in, they should be asked for an ID before being let in. It helps keep incidents like this from happening at least not on the con grounds and helps keep everyone safe and happy.

Okay, that may work if someone looks 14, but what if they are 17? At 17, they are still underage but it's not so easy to notice and letting them into an 18+ event could still have liability issues for the con.

Oh, a great point! :D
Perhaps then a mandatory ID check then for all 18+ events are in order? At 22, Im still being carded for just about everything.

We already id everything that's 18+.

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Wed May 02, 2012 3:59 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Hiroki-kun wrote:
Dragonmaster Lou wrote:
Hiroki-kun wrote:
Clearly if someone looks like they are 14/15 and are using an older persons badge to get in, they should be asked for an ID before being let in. It helps keep incidents like this from happening at least not on the con grounds and helps keep everyone safe and happy.

Okay, that may work if someone looks 14, but what if they are 17? At 17, they are still underage but it's not so easy to notice and letting them into an 18+ event could still have liability issues for the con.

Oh, a great point! :D
Perhaps then a mandatory ID check then for all 18+ events are in order? At 22, Im still being carded for just about everything.


And we do indeed do that at 18+ events currently. I imagine this wouldn't be any different for the dance were the powers that be decide to make it 18+, a valid state ID would be required and checked prior to entry

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Wed May 02, 2012 4:00 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Ahh, I figured as much and good good. I dont really attend many of the 18+ events.
Too busy running around like a crazy person in my costume. Lolol.

We know how hard you guys work to keep everyone happy and safe, so just know it doesnt go unappreciated.
I know you guys will decide whats best for the con and everyone. I really liked the badge-age-sticker idea and just wanted to share. :]

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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Quote:
I know you guys will decide whats best for the con and everyone. I really liked the badge-age-sticker idea and just wanted to share. :]


That's really sweet! but EEK. Two words. Badge swap. Yes, it's against regulations and if seen by staff, can get you kicked out, but it's really not that hard to get a 18+ coded badge when the person's done using it/for a small fee.

I'm all for making the informal dance 18+, maybe then I'll be able to go to one of the dances without feeling like I landed in pedobear's fantasyland.

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Wed May 02, 2012 11:55 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
Perhaps the dance should be made 18+ after a certain time rather than the entire thing. Maybe have the first two hours all ages and the second two hours 18+?

I feel like it's unfair to "punish" the underage attendees for incidents that the majority of them weren't involved in. Also, a dance isn't really something that I feel needs to be an 18+ event as it's not something inappropriate for all ages. I've always thought that AB did a good job with their panel ratings (hentai dub, dating game, etc) so why should a seemingly innocent event like this be any different?


Thu May 03, 2012 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Regarding 2012 Informal Dance Incidents and Concerns
gumdropmouse wrote:
Perhaps the dance should be made 18+ after a certain time rather than the entire thing. Maybe have the first two hours all ages and the second two hours 18+?

I feel like it's unfair to "punish" the underage attendees for incidents that the majority of them weren't involved in. Also, a dance isn't really something that I feel needs to be an 18+ event as it's not something inappropriate for all ages. I've always thought that AB did a good job with their panel ratings (hentai dub, dating game, etc) so why should a seemingly innocent event like this be any different?


I imagine it would have to be an all or nothing kinda thing. To make it 18+ for a portion would likely require that the room be completely cleared and everyone re-ID'd once the 18+ time hit and that would be a logistical nightmare and quite the inconvenience those attending the dance

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