Penn’s student body flung a little safer this year.
Public safety incidents dropped 59 percent from last year’s highs — a total of 41 incidents were reported to the Division of Public Safety, compared to 99 in 2012.
The number of hospitalizations due to alcohol decreased dramatically as well — from 45 to 22 cases.
Spring Fling this year “did not seem as alcoholic-centric as I’ve seen in past years,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
One reason Rush cited for the drop was the presence of officers from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement patrolling campus. This was the first year since the mid-2000s that there has been a BLCE presence on campus.
The BLCE handed out 31 citations to students for underage drinking last Thursday. Penn only handed out two, but both were connected to a disorderly conduct arrest.
The number of disturbances and loud parties brought to the attention of police dropped to 12 from 44 in 2012.
Rush said that typically, many of the incidents occur on Saturday night, when there are fewer structured activities such as the Spring Fling concert.
“If you were out and about, I think you were seeing a lot of police and security officers,” Rush said.
She also noted there were zero criminal incidents towards students over the weekend, a fact she said “speaks highly for DPS, AlliedBarton, PennComm dispatchers and Philly [Police Department].”
There were only two arrests over the weekend, both for disorderly conduct. In one incident, a student was ringing the bell outside DPS headquarters on Chestnut Street and refused to stop when told to cease. In another case, a student “swan dived” onto a DPS patrol car and would not get off.
Rush said she believed alcohol was involved in both incidents.
There was also a fight between students that led to the hospitalization of one student. No arrests were made in that case.
Rush said the weather during Fling may have played a part. While last year’s Spring Fling was warm and clear throughout the weekend, rain fell for much of the day Friday, including during the concert that night.
College junior and Medical Emergency Response Team Chief Maxwell Presser said the organization responded to fewer medical emergencies during this weekend’s Spring Fling than in past years.
Presser attributed part of this drop to the weather and reduced attendance at this year’s Spring Fling concert. He also said the BLCE officers’ presence may have been a contributing factor.
Presser credited part of his organization’s ability to respond to the intense training that members received. In addition to 200 hours of Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Technician training, MERT also holds weekly training and had a day-long training session specifically devoted to preparing for Spring Fling.
Increased steps were put in to prevent damage to the interior of the Quadrangle this year, such as not allowing people inside unless they were going to their dorm room. However, Rush said she did not know yet if there was any damage inside the Quad.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.