The recent and frequent run-ins between students and Brunswick police officers have students murmuring about the potential escalation of police activity around campus during the fast-approaching Ivies Weekend. In past years, measures taken by Bowdoin Security have allowed us to participate, largely carefree, in a weekend of Dionysian revelry—or as close as Bowdoin can come to it. Since our return from Spring Break, however, the increased presence of the Brunswick Police Department (BPD) around campus serves as a reminder of the legal ramifications for violating laws governing drinking. Though it is always risky to drink while underage or in public places, for some students the temptation and likelihood of doing so is increased ten-fold on Ivies Weekend.
With anticipation for Ivies and an increased police presence mounting simultaneously, it's easy to get caught up in villainizing the police. We constantly hear rumors about absurd arrests and unlawful requests from officers. But when we step back, it appears that for the most part, these stories are tall-tales. Even though we may not always see eye-to-eye with BPD, they're just trying to do their job.
More important, we shouldn't forget that it is within our power to avoid most of these often-unpleasant encounters with the police. Last weekend, a party at an off-campus student dwelling, 36 Pleasant St., was ended as a result of one student taking a red cup outside. Two weekends ago, a court summons was issued to an intoxicated underage student who was stopped because her friend was carrying a bottle on a public street. It is hardly an inconvenience to toss cups or finish a beer before leaving a party—whether we are ending our night or just heading to the next venue—and these small efforts are key to staying on the right side of the law.
By complying with the firm rules that BPD has established in recent weeks, we can avoid altercations and fines, and allow parties to continue without interference. We've proved that as a student body, we are capable of recognizing a problem and making progress; the significant decrease in hospital transports over the recent weeks is a perfect example. The coming weekends, during which we are hopeful the sun will shine and students will enjoy the waning days of the semester, are additional opportunities to demonstrate that we are capable of sound judgment, even while enjoying ourselves in a typical college fashion.
Our message is simple: by concentrating on the little things, we can reduce avoidable interactions with BPD. We are grateful for the continued support and protection of the College's department of Security, but we also recognize that there is a limit to what they can do, especially when we venture on to public streets. Though we're not here to preach their message, sometimes they say it best. In the words of Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, "Keep it off the street, don't get too drunk, keep it safe, don't furnish to minors, don't drive drunk."
The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient's editorial board, which comprises Piper Grosswendt, Will Jacob, Gemma Leghorn and Seth Walder.