Green Key sees 11 alcohol-related arrests

by Jessica McDermott | 5/24/18 2:35am

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The Icarus Account was one of the many music groups that performed during Green Key.

by Michael Lin / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

This year, Green Key saw a similar number of incidents involving Dartmouth and non-Dartmouth students compared to last year, and a lower number of non-Dartmouth student incidents compared to years prior, according to interim and associate director of Dartmouth Safety and Security Keysi Montás. In addition to the continuation of the wristband system, which was put in place last year, new safety measures such as water jersey barriers and clearer exit and entry points were implemented, Montás said.

According to Hanover police chief Charlie Dennis, there were 11 alcohol-related arrests from Thursday to Sunday, only one more than last year’s 10 arrests, which was a record low. In 2016, there were 22 and 17 in 2015.

There was a change, however, in the number of arrests that occurred during the concert. Last year, two arrests occurred during the concert and this year, there were six.

Montás said that from Thursday to Sunday, five Good Sam calls were made. While he did not have the data to compare this number to previous years’, he said that this number was expected, given a big event of this nature.

He also said that a fight broke out at one of the fraternities during the weekend, and that this incident is currently under investigation by the Hanover Police Department.

According to Montás, the lower number of non-Dartmouth student incidents compared to years prior can be attributed to the success of the wristband system.

Dennis, who has attended four Green Key concerts, said he has seen fewer high school students since the wristband system was implemented.

Programming Board executive director Jane Gerstner ’18 said that students were more resistant to the wristbands last year but seem more willing to wear them now. She does not think they have decreased overall attendance to the concert.

“It’s one small, little hassle to go get a wristband from your Hinman [box], put it on two days before the concert, and hold it up when you walk in,” Gerstner said, “but it’s ultimately a safer experience for everyone, and that’s what we’re concerned about.”

Dennis added that the wristband system is “no different than if you go to a concert. You have to present a ticket to get in.”

According to Dennis, security measures are important because of how open Dartmouth’s campus is. He said that, in previous years, multiple people from the Upper Valley attended Green Key as a “free concert.” Montás said that issues arise when a non-Dartmouth student at the concert requires resources that the College reserves for its students.

“If we get someone from outside and they have no connection to the College and they are extremely drunk, I cannot take that person to Dick’s House.” Montás said. “That creates an extra layer of things that we and the town have to deal with.”

A new safety measure that was implemented this year was water jersey barriers on the road in front of the concert, in the event that a vehicle might attempt to crash into the crowd. According to Dennis, this decision was not prompted by events from last year’s concert, but rather by global occurrences.

“If you look at what’s going on in our world around us, you see people using vehicles in a manner to harm people,” Dennis said.

Montás also pointed to a recent vehicle attack in Toronto, Canada, as well as occurrences in Europe. Given these events, Montás said that Safety and Security worked with Hanover Police to put precautionary measures in place to mitigate the “remote possibility” of such occurrences.

Dennis added that these barriers served to prevent against any unintentional vehicular accidents as well.

In addition to the water jersey barriers, Montás said that Safety and Security worked to establish clearer entry and exit points to the concert.

“One of the things that we learned last year was that people were going in and out at the same place and it was difficult to see who was who and which way they were going,” Montás said.

Separating the entry and exit allowed for more controlled access so that Safety and Security could more accurately count the number of people in attendance, Montás said.

Gerstner said she believes that the Programming Board must balance two important priorities in planning the concert: safety and quality. She does not think that the wristbands affected the quality of the concert, and that, overall, stricter safety measures have not reduced attendance. She sees the wristbands as a necessary compromise with the town of Hanover so that the college can continue to run the event.

“We want to maintain the caliber of the Green Key concert as we’ve established it, but...in order for the town to agree to that, this is the method that we have to take,” she said.

Correction Appended (May 28, 2018): A photo caption in this article inaccurately stated the band playing. The correct name is The Icarus Account.