The number of students transported to the hospital during New Student Orientation rose this year.
Sixteen students were sent to the hospital for issues related to high alcohol intake this year, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said. This is a jump from the 10 transported during NSO last year. However, 16 students were transported to the hospital two years ago.
Freshmen remain the most frequently transported grade level. Nine freshman were sent to the hospital this year, compared with one sophomore, three juniors, and three seniors. No graduate students were transported this year. Last year, six freshmen were sent to the hospital, as opposed to one junior and one senior. In addition, one graduate student was transported last year.
In 2017, 10 freshmen, four sophomores, and two seniors were transported. No juniors or graduate students were transported in 2017.
In addition to alcohol transports, one burglary from the residence of an off-campus group was reported to Penn Police during NSO. The guidelines for parties registered with the University require one designated host to remain sober and guard the door to identify everyone entering and exiting. However, the person must have stepped away, as an individual was able to walk into the house and steal personal possessions from upstairs, Rush said.
A majority of this year's transports were carried out by the Alternative Response Unit, a free emergency medical transport program implemented by DPS last year. The ARU is an SVU equipped with paramedics from the Philadelphia Fire Department. Students who need medical transportation to the hospital during the ARU's operating hours can use it free of charge instead of calling for an ambulance. This was the first NSO where the ARU was used to transport students to the hospital.
This year, the ARU will be on duty from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. from Wednesday night to Sunday morning, an hour later than last year's 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. schedule. This voluntary change from the Philadelphia Fire Department comes after a few medical transports last year that occurred past 3 a.m., which were operated by the regular fire rescue ambulance and resulted in fees to the students' families, according to Rush.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the burglary occurred at a fraternity house, while the crime in fact took place at the residence of an off-campus group. The DP regrets this error.