Central Michigan Life studied the welcome weekend arrest and citation numbers of each full member MAC school, excluding the University of Ohio and University of Buffalo, which could not be reached for comment.
Of the schools examined, CMU is tied with Miami (Ohio) University with 11 arrests stemming from 38 criminal incidents.
CMU’s largest citation-generator was the minor in possession charge, which was responsible for 30 citations and two arrests over the course of the weekend.
“The numbers have gone up significantly from last year,” CMU Police Lt. Cameron Wassman said. ”In 2012, there were only two MIP citations issued.”
Wassman said the amount of citations are usually a good indicator of the amount of activity occurring, as police do not typically practice leniency.
“Generally speaking, weekends like Welcome Back Weekend, the big football weekends and St. Patty’s Day are pretty much zero-tolerance types of activities,” Wassman said.
For the purposes of this story, CM Life examined the number of arrests and citations given from Thursday to Sunday morning, the weekend before classes began, at each MAC university.
Overall, Eastern Michigan University saw the most action, accumulating 16 arrests over its welcome weekend, most stemming from drug and alcohol possession. Northern Illinois University took second, with 15 arrests, 12 of which were related to MIPs.
Drug possession resulted in 26 arrests among MAC schools, almost half as much as the 47 arrests associated with alcohol violations.
Western Michigan University reported 13 arrests over its welcome weekend, two more than CMU.
“This year compared to what I remember last year was typical for the first week of school,” WMU Deputy Police Chief Blaine Kalafut said. ”Generally, all the parties happen off-campus and when the students return, we end up investigating MIP and drug complaints.”
There were a total of 38 incidents leading to 11 arrests this year at CMU. Wassman said the busiest time on campus was Saturday night, especially down Washington and Main streets.
“I can say from a personal standpoint, being out there year to year, that from last year to this year, there was more foot traffic and more group activity,” he said. “I know this year we ended up shutting down intersections near Washington on the north end, and I don’t believe we ended up doing that last year. There were just more people out this year.”
Police speculate the increase in festivities might be due to warmer weather, but Wassman said it’s difficult to give an all-encompassing reason for the increase in crime.
Despite the increase, Wassman said he is pleased with community behavior.
“We’ve seen a lot more cooperation,” Wassman said. “A lot more homeowners, fraternities and sororities are doing a better job of keeping control of the parties that they have.”