Potential Changes to Spring Party Weekend Address Safety Concerns, Noise

Cody Semrau

With Spring Party Weekend (SPW) only 10 weeks away, Colgate students and administrators are still working out the details for this year’s event. SPW 2014, scheduled to officially take place on April 25 and 26, is anticipated to be a more confined and exclusive festival than in years past.

On January 28, a number of Colgate community members sat down with Hamilton Police Chief Rick Gifford and Mayor Margaret Miller to air their opinions on last year’s Spring Party Weekend. Two serious incidents topped the list of concerns, including a stabbing that took place at a late-night event and a severely intoxicated Hamilton Central School student who was rushed to the hospital.

Other than these two incidents, however, last year’s SPW was one of the safest with regard to the number of overall hospitalizations. Residents in the Village of Hamilton also reported fewer noise complaints than in the past.

“Our ultimate goal for Spring Party Weekend is for students to have a great time without the high-risk behavior,” Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Scott Brown said. “It’s a weekend that takes a lot out of a lot of people. We need to make sure we’re not spreading the school and the community too thin.”

Brown noted that SPW typically requires Hamilton’s Community Memorial Hospital to triple its staff, for the town to expand its police force and for Campus Safety and Southern Madison County Volunteer Ambulance (SOMAC) resources to be heavily strained.

It is for these reasons, along with overall safety concerns, that the Colgate administration is focused on confining SPW events from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.

Although the exact format of this year’s SPW is still to be finalized, the main concert is expected to take place on Saturday afternoon. There will also be a kick-off event on Friday, but specific details have yet to surface. Regular event management procedures will be in place under Colgate’s social hosting guidelines, including a 2 a.m. event deadline.

It is also likely that only two Broad Street Association (BSA) concerts will be permitted outside of the Colgate-hosted main concert. Although this will not exclude other non-concert events from taking place throughout the weekend, it is the first time a strict limit will be placed on the number of SPW concerts.

Other changes anticipated for SPW 2014 include a wristband policy that will require all Colgate students and their guests to have the appropriate wristband in order to attend any SPW events. Each Colgate student will only be permitted one non-Colgate guest, whom they will have to register beforehand. Furthermore, no guests under the age of 18 will be allowed to attend.

 All of these efforts aim to mitigate the high-risk behaviors typically associated with SPW, particularly among underage students and non-Colgate attendees.

More specific details, including who will be the headliner of the main concert, will likely be provided to the Colgate community within the upcoming weeks.

Contact Cody Semrau at [email protected]