An increased security presence will greet any Penn students traveling to Saturday’s football game in Princeton, N.J. as part of Princeton University and Penn’s attempt to curb the “unruly” actions of previous Penn tailgaters.
Penn student groups, especially affiliated Greek organizations and off-campus groups, have a tradition of chartering buses to the Penn-Princeton football game, which is hosted at Princeton every other year.
While many see the tradition as a fun way to show support for Quakers on the road, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said in recent years some Penn students have abused the tradition, showing up “extremely intoxicated and unruly.”
“Students chartered bus companies and filled them with alcohol,” Rush said. “And buses illegally transported that across state lines.”
In order to prevent students from acting in a manner which Rush said was a “discredit to Penn,” the Division of Public Safety notified a number of Greek organizations and off-campus houses that there would be an increased police presence at the football game.
While DPS did not detail exactly what these precautions would be, Rush said they were “working with liquor control enforcement of state police.”
Princeton has also taken steps to limit disruptions caused by Penn fans.
Director of Media Relations at Princeton John Cramer wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian that a “separate tailgating section will be created for Penn students at this Saturday’s Princeton-Penn football game as a result of behavior by some Penn student tailgaters in previous years.”
While Princeton has not made any changes in its alcohol or tailgating policies, Cramer said the separate Penn tailgate section would “enhance the experience for all tailgaters, who are expected to respect the rights of others and the entire University community.”
As a result of increased security at the game, many Greek organizations have decided to break tradition and not attend the game, fearing consequences from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Penn Police.
Sigma Kappa informed its members over the weekend that the group was no longer going. Sigma Delta Tau sorority sent an email on Oct. 30 to its members explaining it was their “decision if they want to go” to the game, but urged caution for anyone under 21. Chi Omega sorority told members on Monday it would no longer be attending.
Despite DPS’s efforts to enhance security for the game, OFSL said it did not adjust any policies for affiliated Greek organizations.
“There is no new policy or effort underway. This game is at Princeton every other year, so it’s ‘new’ to many students,” said Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Hikaru Kozuma, who oversees OFSL, in an emailed statement. “We want to make sure all students know that we want them to have fun, be safe, and remember that expectations for behavior are the same off campus as they are on campus.”
OFSL Director Eddie Banks-Crosson did not respond to a request for comment and Penn Athletics Director Grace Calhoun could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Rush said the purpose of the increased police presence wasn’t to get anyone in trouble, but to make sure everyone was safe and following the rules.
“It is never a gotcha — we get no joy out of arresting Penn students,” she said. “We want you to be safe. We would like to see Penn students get on buses, arrive sober and cheer on the Quakers.”
Staff Reporter Nicole Rubin and Senior Sports Editor Nick Buchta contributed reporting.
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