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Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Kao

Last year, students raised concerns about the culture of Spring Fling changing due to the supervision of alcohol monitors. This year, wristbands to get into parties added a new element to the weekend.

The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement began sending undercover cops to Fling three years ago. Under the watch of police and University limitations of up to eight registered parties for the weekend, students devised new ways of getting around restrictions.

As upperclassmen were aware of the police presence, several fraternities had wristbands for their closed parties for crowd control, and some threw downtowns to get off campus. The wristbands came with various levels of fees. For example, a ticket to the Bamboo Bar was $35 before a $2 online processing fee, while a Friday carnival on campus cost $5.

College sophomore Carolina Hernandez said wristbands had the potential to leave people out, or at least change their Fling plans. Those who weren’t able to obtain the wristbands because of the limited quantity might have been excluded from hanging out with friends who were able to get them.

“The use of wristbands had some impact on the fact that people had to plan ahead about what parties they wanted to go to, but they were fairly easily attainable for on-campus parties that I don’t think they did that much for crowd control. I don’t believe the bouncers at the on-campus parties were doing that much to spot fakes,” College junior Julie MacDonough said.

Money could have also driven the exclusivity of wristbands.

“I think wristbands make things more expensive and create a divide between people who can or will spend the money for them, and the people who can’t,” College sophomore Hannah Van Drie said. “At the same time, it also can make you feel more official and even relevant to have them.”

The increased security impacted some people’s plans, while others were not hassled in any way.

“There was definitely an increase in police activity this weekend. Since this was my first Fling being 21, I even interacted with the police with no concerns about getting in trouble.” MacDonough said.

College senior Charlie Lynch, on the other hand, said he had negative interactions with the police this weekend.

“My friends got stopped and ID’ed, and police even broke up closed parties with bouncers,” he said of on-campus parties. Charlie went to both on- and off-campus events and noted that in addition to more police on campus, the downtown bouncers seemed more strict than usual.

“A friend of mine got dragged out of a downtown by his neck and thrown onto his face on the sidewalk. I couldn’t imagine that happening on campus,” he said.

Still, Van Drie said, Fling overall felt less policed.

“I mean obviously there was a lot of security in the Quad, but I felt like last year everyone really hyped up the level of police activity, and it was something I was really aware of,” she said, “but this year it wasn’t really a concern for me.”

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