As Spring Fling inches closer and closer, the campus is abuzz with preparations. One department that is strategically planning for this annual event is the department of public safety. Spring Fling promises to be a fun event with lots of student participation and with that, the officers know, comes the need for extra safety precautions.
Charlie Schaffner, the director of public safety, and his staff of officers are busy prepping themselves for what can be a rambunctious weekend of activities.
“This is a very busy time and the nature of the event exacerbates behavior that is not always good,” Schaffner said.
Schaffner and his staff will all be on-hand continually throughout the day working in 12-hour shifts to make sure the day doesn’t get out of control. There will be extra personnel on each shift and everyone will be assigned to different posts.
“We try and be a little bit understanding but some rules just can’t be overlooked,” Schaffner said, “10 percent of the people create 90 percent of the problems.”
Every year is a learning experience, according to Schaffner, and they are taking into account things that they learned from last year to plan for this year. There will be no backpacks or coolers allowed in the common areas. Anyone found with a backpack or cooler will have it confiscated. Also, cars will not be allowed to park on the right side of residential boulevard, which will be blocked off the Saturday of Spring Fling.
Public Safety Officer Scott Soule just joined the staff three weeks ago and has never experienced a Spring Fling. “I honestly don’t know what to expect, but you have to stick with the rules, and they will be in place that night,” Soule said.
Public safety coordinates all their security efforts with the Campus Activities and Programming Board, who are in charge of the Spring Fling events. They will meet together to discuss expected turnout and the location of everything.
“We establish rules with CAP Board and see what kinds of outside security they are bringing in, the times of the events and where everything is going to be set up,” Schaffner said. That way, the officers will know when they will be needed most and where the highest occupied areas will be.
Jessica Boettger, a junior elementary education major, remembers last years Spring Fling and felt that public safety did a good job of handling the events. “They really took charge once it got dark and there were more chances for danger. They were trying to be cautious and move everyone out of the streets,” Boettger said.
This year’s Spring Fling will take place on April 8 and will culminate with a concert by Phantom Planet and a midnight breakfast.
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