S&S prepares for busy weekend

by Jeremy Skog | 10/19/01 5:00am

With hundreds of alumni and thousands of students looking to take a weekend off from work to party, Homecoming is usually the busiest weekend of the fall for the Department of Safety and Security, and this year is no different.

Almost the entire Safety and Security staff will be working this weekend, according to College Proctor and head of the Department of Safety and Security, Robert McEwen.

One of the main features of Homecoming weekend is the bonfire tonight.

"For this event we increase foot patrols," McEwen said, "most of our staff will be working Friday night." He added that Safety and Security would probably maintain steady coverage on the Green until 2 a.m.

Residence hall undergraduate advisors (UGAs) also play a large role in safety this weekend, as they have the most direct interaction with students. A letter distributed to UGAs, they were advised that freshmen who attempt to touch the bonfire will be charged with disorderly conduct by the Hanover Police if they can be identified.

UGAs were also advised to warn their hallmates to wear appropriate clothing and not consume alcohol before the event.

The Hanover Police will also have a presence at the bonfire. They will set up a "Homecoming Headquarters," in the street between the Green and Baker library, in addition to having officers in the area of the fire itself. Students are encouraged to report any inappropriate behavior.

Besides the bonfire the other event that usually causes the most problems is the tradition of rushing the field. Although banned by the College, several freshmen usually choose to participate in this event every year.

Those who do rush face being charged by the police and College discipline as well.

"It is prohibited," said McEwen, "In all likelihood you'll be arrested by Hanover Police."

While special events can be catalysts for trouble, McEwen said that the biggest risk is the "risk of injury from high levels of intoxication."

Most of the incidents reported during homecoming are alcohol related, McEwen said.

He advised that friends look out for each other and be aware of the Good Samaritan policy, which protects students and organizations from College discipline if they report an intoxicated student to Safety and Security under the policy.

"We encourage folks to use that," McEwen said.

Homecoming usually has large numbers of alumni and visitors coming to the campus, and this can pose special problems for Safety and Security.

Officers will check dormitories for propped doors and students sleeping in lounges, both of which violate College policy, McEwen said. In addition, officers will check for theft and vandalism.

McEwen encouraged students to report any infractions that they witness, as well as to lock their private rooms and carry their key with them at all times.

Visitors are allowed to stay in private rooms, McEwen said.College policies limit the stay of guests to three days and two nights.

UGAs will be on duty in shifts this weekend so that students will always have someone at their dorm to go to get help.

McEwen advises that friends look out for each other in dangerous situations, as Safety and Security cannot be everywhere this weekend.

"We provide as much safety as we can," he said.

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