Amid concern about increased Brunswick Police Department (BPD) activity, Ivies Weekend will proceed as normal, although Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols advises students to exercise caution and discretion during the weekend to avoid encounters with BPD officers.
“A lot of students are wondering, ‘What about the police?’ and I don’t think students should be looking at it that way,” Nichols said. “Police are always there. They are going to be there. They are going to do their job 365 days a year. I just want students to be cognizant of their own actions and the consequences of those actions.”
His words may reassure students who have expressed concern regarding possible intervention from BPD during Ivies in light of several encounters between Bowdoin students and the police this semester that have resulted in multiple students receiving court summons.
On Tuesday morning, residents of both Brunswick Apartments and College Houses received emails detailing the processes and requirements for registering events during Ivies Weekend. The two emails from Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Education Christian Van Loenen specified that any event registered by a College House during the day must occur inside between noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 and that any large congregation within Brunswick Apartments will be shut down by Security.
In emails to the Orient and residents of Brunswick Apartments, Van Loenen clarified that both of Tuesday’s emails are standard practice in preparation for Ivies Weekend and should not be interpreted as an indication that the circumstances surrounding this year’s festival are in any way different from those in previous years. Students will be able to congregate on the Brunswick Quad but are discouraged from hosting events within the apartment units themselves.
“Messaging around Ivies this year has been consistent with past years. We have never allowed registration during the day on Friday as classes are still in session,” Van Loenen wrote in an email to the Orient. “We also always reinforce to residents of Brunswick apartments that they are responsible for their own living spaces.”
Yesterday afternoon, Nichols sent email to all students advising them to act with discretion and respect should they encounter officers from BPD. The email comes in the wake of police intervention at a “large gathering” at an off-campus residence on Bowker Street last weekend.
In order to prevent intervention from BPD during Ivies Weekend, the Office of Residential Life and Student Activities will restrict registered evening parties to campus locations such as Ladd House, Baxter House and Harpswell Apartments, which are isolated from residential communities.
“They’re working with us to try to keep things more central on campus to try to mitigate some of the neighborhood disturbances that occur on any given weekend but are going to be magnified on Ivies because of the volume of people participating,” Nichols said.
Though he advises students to be safe and cautious, Nichols hopes the weekend will be fun for all.
“Ivies is one of my favorite times of the year,” Nichols said, before pointing to a folded-up mattress in the corner of his office. “There is my Ivies cot over there, and I sleep on that because I am here for four straight days. My officers are working double shifts, we pull out all the stops to keep Ivies as safe as possible for everybody. We want everybody to have a great time, and we want the sun to shine.”
Nichols just may get his wish—weather forecasts predict mostly sunny weather for most of the weekend.