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The Juniors are officially proclaimed seniors Friday on College Green, but not without a few last words from the graduating class. Credit: Jake Werlin

For the past hundred or so years, the junior class has celebrated their transition to senior year through a day of festivities replete with styrofoam hats, canes, red shirts and a traditional visit back to their freshman hall.

Until this year, that is.

On Hey Day, scores of juniors were blocked from entering the Quad with some witnesses even describing a tense standoff between Penn Police, AlliedBarton security guards and the boisterous students.

Around 100 juniors were blocked from entering the Upper Quad just before 1 p.m. by two AlliedBarton guards, witnesses said. Some students were able to get signed in by freshmen while others began chanting “let us in” at the guards.

The guards told students that nonresidents were unable to access the building until 3 p.m., prompting some juniors to try to run past them through the gate.

Penn Police arrived on the scene and assisted the security guards in blocking access to the Quad.

The Division of Public Safety said in a statement on Friday that “no one was shoved out.”

“These security officers took the appropriate measures to prevent the crowd of students from repeatedly trying to enter the Quad,” the statement read.

DPS said further that this isn’t the first time limited access has been requested.

“Card access to the Quad was limited to residents only yesterday following the Hey Day events on College Green,” the statement read. “This has been requested at various traditionally-freshman college houses around campus over the past few years due to incidents that have occurred in these houses following the Hey Day events.”

Ware College House Dean Amanda Atkinson described the security precautions in an email to residents on Wednesday.

“Part of [Hey Day] has traditionally involved [juniors] visiting their first year rooms, which are usually here in the Quad,” she said in the email. “Sadly, too often this has devolved into acts of vandalism.”

She went on to explain that the Quad and Hill House would be on “low occupancy” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. Only residents could swipe in, and non-residents would have to be signed in by a resident.

No such notification was sent to the junior class, which proceeded to the Quad as usual, and despite Atkinson’s assurance that students could be signed in, some witnesses reported the security guards blocking freshmen from signing in any Hey Day celebrators.

It is unclear when this policy was first decided on, to whom it was fully communicated and why the juniors were unaware of it. 

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