By George Kankia ’11 and Will Seymour ’11
Gunfire erupted at Onyx, a popular hip-hop club on Henderson Road, on the evening of Nov. 14. The stray bullets wounded two men and one person was arrested due to the improper handling of a firearm. Several men left club Onyx to start trouble in the neighborhood outside of the bar. Senior Meral Aboghaba has a personal connection to the event.

“I was asleep upstairs when I heard gun shots coming from outside,” Aboghaba said. “My sister said that people were outside of our door trying to get in. She didn’t open the door so they shot at the window. I think they picked our house when they saw the lights in our house across the street from Onyx. My dad and I woke up when we heard gun shots.”

The club was shut down soon after, as this was the second shooting at the club. Upper Arlington City Council president Frank Ciotola was relieved at the club’s closing. An Upper Arlington City Council meeting was packed with the club’s neighbors and Upper Arlington citizens ready to shut down the club. As a result, the owner shut the club down the day after the City Council meeting only a week after the final shooting.

“We all want businesses to succeed,” Ciotola said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch. “But at some point that gets trumped by the safety of the residents.”

The club has brought noise and violence to the area with over 120 arrests in the last two years, according to a December article, “Upper Arlington police, residents concerned that nightclub is attracting violence,” in the Columbus Dispatch. Families felt that kids in the neighborhood were not safe with violence present every weekend.

A similar incident occured at Club ICE on New Year’s Eve. According to the Columbus Dispatch article, “Club Ice auction falls flat as bidders keep distance,” minutes after the New Years Party, three people were shot in a parking lot outside the Downtown club. Police arrested a 20-year-old man outside the club and charged him with four counts of felonious assault. Club ICE was known for its celebrity appearances and live shows featuring Mary J. Blige, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane among others.

One of the most effective ways for keeping noise levels low and violence away from clubs is a large security crew.

Senior Adriane Ghidotti comments on the issue.

“Now that I am 18, my friends and I have been going to 18 and over dance clubs. Most downtown and campus clubs are crowded with teenagers and college students,” Ghidotti said.

She noted that security can have its downside, especially to males who wish to enter the club.

“Most of the time there seems to be more guys than girls but in reality the club security makes it really hard for men to enter when college girls never have trouble getting in,” she said.

One of the biggest threats to a club is violence and disruption to the community around. While both Club ICE and Oynx having been closed due to security issues, remaining Columbus night clubs must be careful not to make the same mistakes.