The Marquette University Police Department prepared differently for this year’s National Marquette Day after last year’s event ended in many cases of acute alcohol intoxication and uncontrollable masses of people.
Last year’s unusually warm weather and later game time allowed National Marquette Day to be one for the record books.
MUPD interim chief Jeff Kranz said the department was better prepared to handle safety this year following last year’s incidents. This National Marquette Day, MUPD added six additional officers for the day shift and six officers for the night shift.
“Our biggest concern is excessive and reckless use of alcohol, which leads to people becoming susceptible to street crime or sexual assault,” Kranz said.
With an earlier game time and snowy weather, there were fewer students out in the street compared to last year. Due to the combination of these two factors, Lt. Jill Weisensel said there were less incidents of acute alcohol intoxication than last year.
MUPD was just one of the departments represented on this year’s National Marquette Day Committee. The Office of Residence Life was also involved in preparation for the day.
Tracy Gerth-Antoniewicz, the assistant director of residence life education, and Rachel Tepps, the coordinator of residence life programs, said in a joint email that the policies for safety are consistent across all residence halls and the same as last year.
“There are two additional safety considerations in place for National Marquette Day. The first is restricted visitation and the second is additional duty tours by the resident assistant staff,” Gerth-Antoniewicz and Tepps said in a joint email.
They added that RAs received “an additional refresher training (last) Wednesday evening on Red Watch Band (training about the risks of alcohol), so everyone is prepared on the potential signs of an alcohol overdose and how to get help as quickly as possible.”
Both the Office of Residence Life and MUPD emphasized their concerns for the overall safety of their students.
“For high-risk weekends such as National Marquette Day, we are extra vigilant given the high-risk drinking we have seen over the past few years,” Gerth-Antoniewicz and Tepps said. “We aim to help provide a safe environment and avoid tragedy from occurring, but we need students’ help to be responsible and be a good bystander (sic) when they see someone who might be in danger.”
Weisensel said being on duty for National Marquette Day is “exciting … but we want to be part of the larger conversation in case students don’t know what to do” in tough drinking situations.
Weisensel said this year’s National Marquette Day was a “night and day difference” compared to last year. Weisensel explained things picked up after 11 p.m., but overall Marquette students were practicing much safer habits this year than last.