Seniors rush the field

by Eun Lee Koh | 11/3/97 6:00am

Of the 10 students who rushed onto the field at Memorial Stadium during halftime of the football game Saturday, seven were upperclassmen.

"Rushing the field" -- a practice the College prosecutes as criminal trespassing -- has been a tradition for Dartmouth freshmen for years. This is the first time in recent memory that a majority of the students rushing the field were upperclassmen.

The three freshmen who rushed the field -- Candice Adams '01, Margaret Kuecker '01 and Barbara Peterson-Cremer '01 -- were all arrested. Senior Mary Hollendoner also was arrested. The students now will face College discipline.

Before the teams had left the field at the start of halftime, Adams, Hollendoner, Kuecker, Peterson-Cremer and six others jumped over the spectator railing and ran across the field towards the Harvard stands.

The six upperclassmen avoided arrest by running directly into the Harvard crowd.

One of the students, who asked to remain unnamed, said, "When I rushed, I didn't see anything but straight ahead of me. I just headed straight towards the stands on the Harvard side."

Hollendoner was not so lucky. She was tackled by a policemen before she was able to escape.

"I saw a policeman come my way and I ran towards the other direction," Hollendoner said. "He kept chasing me and eventually knocked me over. Everyone said it was the best tackle of the game."

Several of the seniors who escaped said they rushed the field because they regretted not doing so their freshman year.

"We just figured it would be our last chance at the great old tradition," Hollendoner said. "We didn't think many freshmen would do it, so we did it."

The four who were arrested were taken to the police station where mug shots and fingerprints were taken.

"We all had green face paint on when our mug shots were taken," Hollendoner said. "We had to stand there in our Dartmouth T-shirts and hold little numbers in front of us like we were criminals."

The students will face charges for a Class B misdemeanor for criminal trespassing. A court date has been set for January.

"It was fun rushing the field, but I'm kind of regretting the consequences that I have to deal with now," Peterson-Cremer said.

A few years ago, hundreds of freshmen would scramble over the rail at halftime and run to the opposing team's stands to sing the alma mater.

The Committee on Standards ruled in 1986 that rushing the field has "resulted in threat and intimidation to spectators and band members and in actual physical harm to a number of people, including a 70-year-old woman, a wheelchair-bound teenager and several Dartmouth undergraduates."

The tradition has all but died since the College administration decided to put a stop to it.