Welcome Weekend has more calls, fewer arrests and citations
Police were dispatched to the scenes of more incidents during this year's Welcome Weekend, but actual charges and citations were fewer.
According to the Mount Pleasant Department of Public Safety, police received 568 calls last weekend, a 27-percent increase from 439 last year.
Police also said 191 people were cited for violations or arrested this year, down 28 percent from last year's total of 266.
MPPD Public Information Officer Jeff Browne said that the weekend started out calm but escalated as the days passed.
"Most gatherings were cooperative," Browne said. "Others were argumentative at times causing concern for officers. Some unruly party goers climbed light poles, threw beer cans, bottles and rocks at police."
The most prevalent crime was open intoxicants, with 74 people arrested or cited. Last year, 144 people were cited or arrested for this same violation.
The ebb and flow of students from party-to-party during Welcome Weekend evokes images of jellyfish flowing through ocean water. (Taryn Wattles | Assistant Photo Editor)
Fewer partiers got minor-in-possession citations this past weekend compared to last year. Thirty-nine people received an MIP, less than the previous year's 65 citations.
Browne said police were proactive in trying to make the weekend safe as possible.
"CMU and the city sent out a notice of laws and ordinances as well as key resources to all students who are registered at the university," Browne said. "Staff from the City along with those from CMU walked around our student resident section educating and enlisting their help."
Browne said that despite the proactive measures, the police were busy controlling large crowds in the student residential area.
Seventeen people were also arrested or cited for having a nuisance party compared to the 36 people in 2013. Disorderly conduct saw an increase, as 17 people were ticketed and arrested, compared to nine last year.
Pontiac sophomore Charice Craft said most students were respectful while walking down Main Street.
"Most people were just standing and drinking while socializing," Craft said. "Two people who were clearly drunk were trying to climb a tree. One was successful and was hanging off a branch."
Thursday had the least number of complaints with 127 calls being serviced. Friday was the busiest with 237 calls. Saturday night had 219 complaint calls.
Twenty-eight traffic violations were issued this weekend. Other offenses that happen throughout the weekend include possession of marijuana, resisting arrest, probation violation, assault and driving under the influence.
Browne said a few fires were even started throughout the weekend, but were contained quickly.
Craft said the police did a good job balancing the students' need for safety and fun.
"They would only intervene if someone was harming themselves or others," Charice said. "Also if they saw open beverages they would politely ask for the person to dump it out."