Students aren’t the only ones preparing for Spring Fling this weekend. Faculty and security personnel are getting ready as well — but in different ways.
With student safety a top priority, faculty and security officials are preparing for the inundation of Flinging students and visitors, particularly in and around the Quad.
A security officer at the Lower Quad gate noted the busy atmosphere of the Quad during Fling weekend.
“It’s bananas for us. There are a thousand — a couple thousand — kids in the Quad. It’s our busiest weekend, next to move-in and move-out days,” he said.
The security team will be supplemented with extra staff on duty. Although they could not disclose the full extent of their security plan, security officers will be checking PennCards at each of the restricted entrances to the Quad buildings. They will have lists of the students who live in each house to prevent non-residents from entering.
Security personnel will also perform bag checks on each individual entering the Quad, and will check visitors' guest passes at Quad entrances. They are also responsible for ensuring that excessively inebriated students do not enter.
“The biggest challenge for us is crowd control,” said another security officer stationed at the Upper Quad gate. “We want to make sure everyone’s here to have fun and not mess up anyone else’s fun.”
While the presence of the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will seek to reduce underage drinking on campus, security personnel will man the gates to the Quad to keep the events inside as safe as possible.
“I’ll be at the Upper Quad — it’s like ground zero,” the security official said. “Especially when the sun comes out. It gets bananas .”
Faculty members who live in the Quad, such as college house deans and faculty masters, will see students celebrating Fling outside their windows this weekend. As Quad residents themselves, they too will be subject to the increased security presence, as well as the deluge of Fling tank-clad students.
“The increased security will have some minor impact on routines, but it’s not something we consider a problem or annoyance,” Riepe College House Fellow Ralph Rosen said in an email. He noted that the worst part of Fling weekend is that it "can be a little gross stepping around the occasional vomit!"
Not even those responsible for student safety are immune to the positive Spring Fling spirit, though. Rosen declared the “energy and vibes” to be the best part of the weekend.
“I look forward to the fried Oreos,” the Upper Quad Gate security officer said. “Although honestly, I can’t wait for it to be over.”