By Christy Strawser
MOUNT PLEASANT (CBS Detroit) – Nearly 200 people were ticketed by police during what appears to be a wild student Welcome Weekend at Central Michigan University.
Guard your freshmen, folks.
The entire weekend saw 192 people cited for various reasons, according to MLive.
“Citations included five for disorderly conduct, 56 for minor in possession of alcohol, two for nuisance party-attending, nine for nuisance party-hosting, 107 for open intoxicants, one for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, two for possession of drugs, seven for resisting and obstructing, one for retail fraud and two warrant arrests,” the news report added.
Twenty-two arrests were made.
Mount Pleasant Officer Jeff Browne tells The Morning Sun that partiers tossed beer bottles Friday and Saturday at police.
Welcome Weekend is the start of school year at Central Michigan and has gained a reputation for rowdiness in student neighborhoods around the school. CMU is the third largest university in Michigan, with 200 academic programs; It’s located in Mount Pleasant, Mich, a small town of 26,000 ranked as one of the “safest and most walkable communities in the state.”
Freshmen move in Thursday or Friday and classes start after Labor Day, leaving what’s become a weekend of festivities. Brown says about half the people causing problems are not students.
“I wouldn’t label it all as freshmen, it’s more of a mix,” Brown said, adding, “That’s what we tell our incoming freshman, the things you do between the age of 16 and 24 will impact the rest of your life. The problem we’re having is about half the problem or issue, is not our CMU students… It’s friends, or just people who heard this is the place to be.”
He said residents have strongly objected to the revelry the last few years and police have reacted with proactive things like bringing in reinforcements before welcome weekend.
This year, Mount Pleasant police and fire departments were assisted by Central Michigan University, Gratiot County, Midland County, Midland City, Clare City and St. Louis police, as well as Michigan State Police Hart and Lakeview posts.
“The people in the community get very upset about it and that’s why we had additional resources this year to work on the problem … We’re not OK with the behavior,” Brown said, adding, “We’ve done a number of proactive members, programming with all the incoming freshman and transfer students about expectations. We do walk around around the (student resident population.) We run articles on social media, we have the university put out information, there’s no way they don’t know.”
He added the partying is so intense, a quick walk around the area will show anyone what’s going on. It’s not hidden. But police don’t have the resources for things like party checks for minors in possession, Brown said.
“All you have to be is in the area, and you know they’re going on, we don’t raid parties, we don’t have the staff for that … There’s no time.”