By Jada Butler
Between 12 and 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, shrieks filled the halls of Queens Residential Hall, as an apparent sighting of a clown outside a student’s window stirred the residents from their beds.
Screaming was heard just after midnight, and as the DSS security guard went to investigate a room full of musical theater girls, all of the students denied they were the source. Everyone in the hall had heard the screams, and soon the first floor and lobby were full of students.
One student from the first floor claimed that a friend had seen someone dressed as a clown outside their window. Another two students from the second floor said they had heard someone screaming, “stop, let go of me” from outside their windows.
Michael Berthel, associate dean of students and director of Campus Life, referred to any clowns being involved as mere rumors. “This was not substantiated with any official sighting,” Berthel said. “Out of an abundance of caution, Public Safety and Campus Life staff conducted additional rounds of the campus.”
Students were instructed to return to their rooms as security and the RAs checked to make sure everyone was in their rooms. Public Safety was on their way.
“It was spooky,” said Allie Wise, a freshman marketing and environmental science major. “But public safety handled the situation well.”
Public Safety members were patrolling the campus in unmarked cars, and DSS security ensured the students that everything would be fine and sent them back to bed.
That didn’t stop several groups of students of several residence halls from forming parties and “clown hunting” around campus, armed with baseball bats.
“On Monday during common hour, a student was completing a project for a broad-casting class and entered Hillwood Commons with a clown mask on,” Berthel added. “When asked, the student removed the mask without incident.”