Police presence up at Spring Fling, students say

Though her entry into Tuesday’s Spring Fling was free, Beanie Meadow ’11 came out $100 poorer.

Meadow, a 21-year-old Saybrook College junior annexed to Lawrance Hall, said she was eating dinner when five or six police came into her suite and carded two of her underage suitemates who were drinking beer. She said the police then took all the alcohol in her suite, the value of which she estimated at $100, and poured it down the drain of her bathroom. Neither of Meadow’s suitemates was written up for the offense, but the police took down both their names, Meadow said.

Other students did not get off so easy. The police issued a total of 19 infraction tickets at Spring Fling on Tuesday — 14 for the possession of alcohol by a minor, two for public drinking, two for creating a public disturbance and one for serving alcohol to minors. Yale College Council Events Director Mathilde Williams ’11 had said Wednesday that security would be stationed at Old Campus entryways but would not be entering suites. Although administrators have always reminded students just before the annual Spring Fling of a ban on alcohol on Old Campus, 11 students interviewed said they think enforcement of the policy was significantly up this year.

“This did not happen last year,” Will Walter ’10 said. “It’s unheard of.”

Calhoun College Master Jonathan Holloway, chair of the Council of Masters, said he was aware that the YPD and Yale Security were going to be present “in more obvious ways than in the past,” but he said he did not know of any formal change in policy. He declined to say more without knowing more about what happened on Tuesday.

In an e-mail, Yale Police Department Lt. Steven Woznyk did not comment on enforcement beyond providing the numbers of infractions this year. Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry and Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith, who oversees campus security, each did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

Gentry sent an e-mail to all students on Friday to remind them of the ban on alcohol and parties on Old Campus during the concert. Beginning Monday afternoon, at least three extra officials were stationed on Old Campus in preparation for the concert, stopping students who appeared to be carrying alcohol to ask them for identification. During the concert on Tuesday, police stationed themselves at the gates to Old Campus and asked to see IDs of anyone entering the area. They also checked students’ bags for alcohol whenever they came out from their dormitories.

On Monday, Gentry sent another campus-wide e-mail to restate his concern for Yale students in light of the record number of alcohol incidents and hospital transports to this year.

Yale’s undergraduate regulations state that any gathering of more than 20 students in student housing must be approved by a residential college dean or master. Gentry’s e-mail, however, said that no parties would be allowed on Old Campus.

Gabriel DeLeon ’13 said policemen raided Farnam Hall during the concert, even entering suites that he said should not have attracted attention.

“Surveillance was, in a word, obtrusive,” he said. “I understand they’re keeping out stragglers and breaking up the really dangerous, rowdy parties, but some suites, which were absolutely quiet, were still raided, to the benefit of no one.”

One freshman who asked for anonymity while talking about underage drinking said he had thrown a small party earlier in the day, when at 3 p.m. (when, he claimed, there were only three people in his suite), his room was raided by 10 security officers.

“They were very aggressive and searched a suitemate’s room, which surprised me,” the student said. “They made us watch while they poured all of our alcohol down the toilet despite the fact that one of my suitemates present was 21.”

Police also had the help of at least Pierson Dean Amerigo Fabbri, who confiscated alcohol from Lanman-Wright Hall, where his freshmen are housed, said Joshua Satok ’13.

Spring Fling ran from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Correction: April 29, 2010

Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article misrepresented the gender of Gabriel DeLeon ’13 in one instance. The News sincerely regrets this error.

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