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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

College and Hanover prepare for weekend

As students anticipate the revelry of Green Key Weekend, members of the College and Hanover community are preparing for a party weekend that may draw a smaller crowd than in past years.

The weekend is "not as big as it used to be," Safety and Security Sergeant Mark Lancaster said. He added that it used to be one of the biggest weekends of the year, requiring extra Safety and Security shifts and personnel.

The decrease in "fun things" on the Green, such as chariot races and keg tosses, has caused the number of non-College visitors to shrink over the years, Lancaster said.

Green Key Weekend now requires only as much Safety and Security vigilance as "a regular football weekend," Lancaster said, without any additional personnel or extra shifts.

The Hanover Police Department does work harder on Green Key Weekend than typical weekends, because, despite a drop in numbers, there are still a number of visitors to the College.

The police manage traffic concerns and related matters -- especially situations involving non-College students -- and are particularly busy during the "peak times of business during the weekend," Hanover Police Captain Chris O'Connor said.

O'Connor said the police try to focus the proper amount of attention on the campus, while not ignoring the remainder of Hanover.

He said there are also usually a "number of calls" from Safety and Security when "intoxicated non-students" are taken in for alcohol-related offenses.

O'Connor said the number of such incidents varies from just a few to about 10 in a weekend.

The biggest concern with such incidents is that they are "time-consuming," requiring enough time to either arrest the non-students or to put them in protective custody.

O'Connor explained that protective custody differs from an arrest because no formal charge is issued against the offender. The individual is held for 24 hours until they "can be released to the proper persons," he said.

The College's Facilities, Operations and Management does nothing special to prepare for Green Key, but is concerned about repercussions for the College's grounds.

Linda Hathorn, director of conferences and events for FOAM, said Green Key events on the Green do hamper the growth of grass "a little."

However, the wear on the Green "isn't such that it does any real damage," Hathorn said.

The northern end of the Green, which has little grass, has been roped off in order to prepare it for Commencement and Reunion in June, she added.

Local businesses tend to gain extra customers over Green Key Weekend, but the decrease in visitors over the years has also affected them.

Hanover Green Card owner and founder Mitch Jacobs '94 said large groups of students, alumni and other visitors often make reservations at restaurants like Lou's Restaurant or Jesse's Restaurant and Tavern.

He said these groups often go to brunch at Lou's, hold nicer dinner gatherings at places like Jesse's and order from Everything But Anchovies during evening activities.

Toby Fried, owner of Lou's and Fort Lou's, said the restaurants are "definitely busier" during Green Key Weekend.

However, Fried said, the weekend was "much bigger" in the past.

Restaurants such as Lou's prepare for the increase in business by making sure there are enough staff available to keep up with the extra customers, Fried said.