Spring Fling — a fun-filled weekend for most — has the potential to be a nightmare for the officers of the Division of Public Safety.
“We have more overtime police and security on — its an all-hands-on deck weekend,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
“The problem is often students from other universities who think they have a ‘free pass’ because they aren’t from Penn,” she added.
Rush referred to the new policy that will restrict access to buildings in the Quad during fling weekend as one of the safety measures on which DPS has collaborated.
“There was a lot of damage done in the Quad on past Spring Fling weekends, and frankly it started to become a huge cost problem for repairs,” Rush said. “They just did the renovation this past year, and we want to make sure there’s no damage to all of the money put into the college houses.”
With the announcement of last year’s headliner — DJ Tiesto — Fling organizers were worried about hospitalizations, specifically those related to ecstasy and other party drugs.
This year, Rush is optimistic. “From all of our intelligence, that is not a concern for this particular talent [Fling headliner DJ GirlTalk].”
“His demeanor has calmed down over the years,” she added, saying that “if there’s a particular act that tries to entice people to do illegal things we — the University — don’t invite them.”
As a result of last year’s fears, the Medical Emergency Response Team — a volunteer group of students who are trained to deal with medical emergencies — put together special training for its responders centered around drug-related scenarios. But this year, MERT responders are receiving no additional, drug-specific medical training for Fling.
“We don’t anticipate anything out of the ordinary,” MERT Chief Maxwell Presser said.
However, MERT will have a supplementary session over the upcoming weekend to prepare for Fling.
“Every week we have a meeting and we usually run through a couple scenarios,” Presser added. “Trainings can be as specific as ecstasy, or they could be for allergic reactions, strokes, you name it.”
Presser did not waste the opportunity to put in a plug for safety. “Please don’t hesitate to call if you are concerned about your friends,” he said. “I’m on all weekend, so it will make my job a lot easier.”
This article has been updated to reflect that MERT will have a supplementary training session to prepare for Spring Fling.Comments powered by Disqus
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