The fourth annual Epic Quad Battle, scheduled to take place on June 5, has been canceled this year after the event organizers met with administrative officials. A formal letter was released on May 22 to the student body, officially announcing the decision and presenting the reasoning behind it.
“We appreciate that the original goal of Epic Battle organizers was to have a lighthearted, safe and fun way for UC Davis students to celebrate the end of the academic year,” said the letter, which was co-signed by Vice Chancellor of Administration Stan Nosek and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Fred Woods. “Regrettably, despite these good intentions, the scale and conduct of the event has escalated far beyond the original goals.“
Over the past three years, the Epic Quad Battle has become a tradition in which students, armed with a variety of Styrofoam noodles and other implements, meet on the main quad to do battle.
During the 2007 Epic Quad Battle, a large number of students from both Davis and other universities participated in the event. However, one student incurred injuries when he was hit with a PVC pipe that was being used as a base for its Styrofoam shell. The student filed a lawsuit against UC Davis approximately two weeks ago, according to former ASUCD senator Andrew Peake.
“Therefore, in the interest of safety, we strongly urge all students to not participate in any type of Epic Quad Battle this year,” Peake said.
The letter cited several reasons for the cancellation of the event in addition to the lawsuit.
The letter notes that the Epic Quad Battle has never been an event that was officially sanctioned by the university. Non-university organizations are only allowed to use campus property when sponsored by an authorized university department or campus organization. Quad battle organizers were unable to find such a group.
The letter also says safety is a major issue. University administrators are concerned about the steadily rising numbers of attendees at the event. The letter estimates that because approximately 800 students are signed up to attend the event, a comparison to last years‘ turnout suggests that the real number of attendees could be more than 1,000 students. The university is concerned that such a large crowd is uncontrollable, and that there is no possible way to monitor the safety of weapons.
“There are too many people for it to be a controlled event,” said Epic Quad Battle Organizer Gregg Button in an e-mail interview. “In order for it to be safe we are going to have to check everyone’s weapons and make sure they sign a waiver keeping the creators and the school out of harm’s way.“
While the event has been officially banned from the UC Davis campus, there are those who believe that the event is too popular to be canceled altogether. Organizers have even suggested that the Epic Quad Battle IV may be moved off campus to a location that is not within UC Davis‘ jurisdiction.
“I think it will happen no matter what, but it will not take place on the Quad. The gears are turning, there are too many people who are excited and want to blow off some steam and I think they might turn to Davis city parks,” said Button, a junior managerial economics and Italian double major.
As an alternative, the organizers hope to legally reserve Toomey Field from ASUCD for next year’s battle. However, they would have to raise money or find an official student group to fund the event in order to pay the estimated $8,000 dollars necessary to rent the space, Button said. By holding the event in a contained area, it would be possible to check participant’s weapons and potentially get them to sign waivers prior to the battle.
“What people need to remember is that there is always next year,” Button said, “and it will be that much more fun because we will have two years‘ steam to blow off.“
RITA SIMERLY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.