City, Student Legal Services offer advice for safe partying this weekend

Caitlyn Wachovec

Law enforcement and city officials are taking a proactive approach this weekend for the Drinkin’ on North Lincoln and Shermania parties in hopes of preventing an incident like last weekend’s College Fest.

Along with possible university faculty and council members doing walk-arounds, there will also be a police presence as needed.

“We meet the need,” said Capt. Michelle Lee of the Kent Police Department. “If there’s no need for us to be there, then we won’t be.”

Lee said there will be more officers on duty than normal, and the city police will be working with other agencies, including the Kent State University Police Department.

University organizations and city officials have been brainstorming all week about how to handle situations such as College Fest in the future. Starting this weekend, Undergraduate Student Government will pass out fliers on Sherman and Lincoln streets. The “smart party” fliers were put together for this weekend by Student Legal Services.

Kent City Safety Director Bill Lillich also talked about having graduate student mediators for future situations, to help regulate and be a voice of reason along with police.

Both Lillich and Carol Crimi, senior staff attorney at Student Legal Services, have advice for students planning to party this weekend.

To stay safe, Lillich recommends students watch out for one another and “be sure to provide food and non-alcoholic beverages as well.”

On the legal side of things, Crimi said she suggests not aggravating a situation or authorities.

“People are required to give police their correct name and social security number if asked,” Crimi said. “And they do have the right to remain silent.”

She said if students see something they don’t agree with, they should take pictures and notes of the occurrence and report it to Student Legal Services. She said she also wants students to know that when they are arrested, the university is notified and can choose to take action as well.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer said a lot of the responsibility is up to the students.

“This is an opportunity to work together and make this a safe event,” Shaffer said.

Contact public affairs reporter Caitlyn Wachovec at [email protected].