Homecoming weekend mostly calm, police say

Homecoming weekend mostly calm, police say

Story by Rachel Minske

For a week often perceived as wild, UW-Eau Claire’s Homecoming was quite uneventful.

While the number of significant instances from last week is low, the many festivities still lived on.

Emma Brennan, an RA in Oak Ridge Hall,  said Homecoming festivities are a great chance for students to show their school spirit.

“It is unfortunate that there is often a large emphasis on drinking during Homecoming weekend, but it should also be noted that a majority of students do not choose to participate in the drinking and partying aspect but rather choose to attend events that focus on school spirit,” Brennan said.

UW-Eau Claire offered many alternatives to drinking throughout the course of the weekend, including the Homecoming parade and Varsity Night Live. Brennan said the residence halls used a variety of tactics to combat negative behavior related to drinking.

“Residents were reminded of the J-Code,” she said. “Security in all buildings is significantly enhanced for the weekend.”

Security also played a major role outside of the residence halls.

According to the University Police, there were not any significant changes in reported cases from last year to this year. There were a total of 24 on-campus cases this year opposed to last year’s total of 23. Six underage drinking citations and two DWIs were issued this year. The University police also reported that two students were admitted to hospitals for detoxification.

Lt. Jay Dobson of the University Police says that even though it was Homecoming weekend, the police department was not expecting anything unusual. There were, at most, only four patrolmen on duty at any given time over the weekend. Lt. Dobson says that on a normal weekend, there are two patrolmen and one supervisor on duty from the University

“The things that we dealt with this past weekend is nothing really out of the ordinary,” Dobson said. “It was a typical weekend for us, just a little bit busier.”

Up from last year’s report of 11 criminal arrests, the Eau Claire Police Department issued 19 criminal arrests over Homecoming weekend. ECPD also issued 107 ordinance citations, which is down from 2010’s report of 140 citations.

Dobson says that the University Police do not aim to generate high citation numbers, but instead only wish to keep the students safe.

“For us its not about how many tickets we write the big emphasis for us is to have more people out there to generate that presence,” Dobson said. “Generally speaking, most responsible people, when they see law enforcement, if there was any question about wrong doing, they generally change their mind about it.”

The University Police emphasize the perception of feeling safe and making healthy decisions among students. Sophomore Alex Card said he thinks patrolmen were doing a good job in keeping students safe.

“In my opinion, I think homecoming was really fun and its one of the more fun times that Eau Claire has,” said Card.