Statistics reveal jump in citations for HPW

By Siobhan Murray

Writer

Recent reports from administrators indicate that while fewer fraternities hosted events during this year’s House Party Weekend, the number of individual citations increased. Only four or five fraternities were allowed to have parties at a give time in comparison to past years, when up to 10 or 12 fraternities could host House Party Weekend events. This year’s situation allowed the Department of Public Safety to focus its efforts more narrowly and for alternative, non-alcoholic events to have a greater presence on campus.

Most striking about this year’s House Party Weekend incidences was Public Safety’s report of 28 liquor law violation judicial referrals, six disorderly judicial referrals and nine total DUI citations. These numbers are a stark contrast from last year’s House Party, when there were only nine judicial referrals resultant from liquor law violations and three from disorderly conduct. 

“What’s really concerning is the number of DUIs, which has been steadily increasing in recent years. This has a lot to do with students going downtown parties and driving back and forth between uphill campus and downtown,” Chief of Public Safety Jason Friedberg said.

Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department reported 13 underage arrests, up from the eight last year.
As less official options were available to students because of multiple fraternities being on social probation, many events migrated downtown, and lines at official events grew longer.

“Students tend to find a balance between parties on different parts of campus. If fewer events are uphill, on Fraternity Road, more will appear downtown. That’s the reality, where venues change to being downtown,” Friedberg said.

Security presence on campus throughout the weekend was a key characteristic of the duration of House Party. Public Safety officers stayed on constant patrol throughout campus as they usually do, mainly focusing on Fraternity Road, as well as the Elaine Langone Center, Uptown and Seventh Street Cafe. Buffalo Valley Regional Police largely occupied downtown areas. Since there were less parties, Public Safety officials were able to oversee parties more efficiently.

“The big focus was keeping lines outside parties at least in check,” Friedberg said. “Academic buildings are always a priority as well, to guard against any theft or vandalism that may occur.”

Students definitely noticed increased levels of security around campus.

“I would say that we experienced a heightened amount of security inhibited students’ freedoms relative to last year and their choices about where they wanted to spend time. You do need the security, but it was way too out of hand. There were so many hired security personnel that they didn’t even know what to do,” Josh Leighton ’14 said.

Students also noted that the interactions they had with Public Safety on House Party Weekend were generally positive.

“I thought things were handled really well, and that security was really polite to me,” Anna MacAlister ’12 said.

Public Safety appreciated the alternative student programming offered during this year’s House Party Weekend, including Bison Fest, a collaborative effort by the Deans of Students, Campus Activities and Programs (CAP) Center, Interfraternity Council (IFC), Panhellenic Council, Office of Residential Education, CHOICE and Bucknell Student Government (BSG). Bison Fest, along with events hosted at the Campus Theatre that Friday night, were meant to provide students with alternative, non-alcoholic options for the weekend.

“First and foremost, we wanted to provide students with fun, exciting options for those who were not interested in House Party activities. All students were welcome and encouraged to come, and given the high attendance everyone seemed to enjoy the food, friends and amazing atmosphere.  In addition, we wanted to help students who were participating in House Party to be safe and smart,” said Laura Yeckley, assistant director of campus activities and programs.

“Alternative student programming made our job a lot easier,” Friedberg said. “I haven’t heard any anecdotal stories of students calling their parents to be picked up for the weekend, to escape the events of House Party.”

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