Campus reacts to online videos of CCU students going wild

Campus reacts to online videos of CCU students going wild

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A large crowd of partiers took over the pool at Monarch 544 on Saturday and videos of their risky behavior are going around social media.

Monarch 544 is a private apartment complex, but it houses mostly Coastal Carolina University students, according to general manager Gary Conner.

He said Saturday was supposed to simply be a cookout event for residents and their own guests.

That changed, according to Conner, when a DJ, who had put up flyers advertising a party with his name on it, showed up and took over the pool along with a crowd of people.

Conner said staff members were present for the cookout, but they quickly lost control of the situation because the DJ had the microphone and loud music.

He said the DJ was encouraging the dangerous behavior seen in the videos, such as jumping off coolers into the pool.

Officers with the Conway Police Department, as well as the fire department and EMS, responded to a call from a neighbor about an out-of-control party.

The police report said EMS transported three people for injuries or medical reasons, and several others were treated and released for a variety of event-related medical reasons.

According to the report, the pool area had 500 people in it, which is 125 people over capacity.

Police found Dylan Purdy, 20, was responsible for authorizing the DJ to play music and for advertising and organizing the event. He was given a citation for violation of a special event permit and public nuisance.

Cameron Maddux, 18, was cited for public intoxication, open container, possession of beer by a minor and possession of fake identification.

Kyle Massod, 18, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of beer by a minor, possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Conner said the pool has been closed all week to send residents a message that this cannot happen again. He added this behavior will not be tolerated.

According to Conner, security guards will be on the grounds during the day this upcoming weekend to make sure this does not happen again.

They will also be present during community events in the future, although he said no large-scale events will be planned. He added guests will not be allowed at community events any longer.

Conway police said they are working with managers to solve the problem.

Once made aware of the situation, CCU officials started taking steps to take care of any environment that is not safe for students, according to Travis Overton, dean of students.

CCU had nothing to do with the party that took over Monarch 544, but its name was attached to the videos posted on social media. People commented on those videos about wanting to transfer to the school or apply in order to participate in the partying.

"Our environment is set up to say if you do decide that once you get here that that's where your focus is, it's not going to work out very well for you," Overton said.

He added videos like those recently posted may have people thinking the majority of CCU students want to drink and party, but that is not the case. Surveys have verified most students do not engage in dangerous drinking, and that most do not apply because of a party school reputation.

"It's a great opportunity to be able to see perception versus reality," Overton said. "The reason they choose Coastal is for the academic programs. It's for the location."

Overton said CCU is not alone in fending off a party school reputation, noting that is the perception many people have about colleges across the United States right now.

"Every institution is challenged as a college environment trying to figure out how to make sure we are not allowing for that environment to be created," he said.

Although last weekend's party happened at a private apartment complex, Overton said the code of conduct applies off campus as well and students can receive disciplinary action for their behavior anywhere.

CCU students have to complete an alcohol education program before they get to campus. A new program for freshmen now allows students to discuss partying and drinking pressures with staff members in their first year experience class.

A student organization has messaging campaigns about social norms and good habits around campus and also does the surveys that compile information on the student body's behaviors.

Watch the videos from the party below. WARNING: Some contain EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.

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