For as long as students have crammed for final exams, students have also celebrated the completion of the academic year with that other rite of matriculation – spring parties.
Spring weekends in college towns are notorious for year-end parties that begin as a well deserved break from the daily grind of student-hood but have an unfortunate tendency to mutate into something more spirited.
School spirit is a great thing but that’s not exactly the spirits filling up the cups at the parties which when consumed in large quantities often end in injuries, property damage and unfortunately arrests.
Spring parties are nothing new but the advent of social media has raised the stakes as a house party can combust into a flash mob in a matter of minutes, catching party hosts, landlords and safety crews off-guard and unprepared — all of which is a bad combination for safety.
Despite our best efforts, spring parties in Kent have made headlines for attracting party crashers from as far as Akron and Cleveland, filling up the City’s jail with out-of-town offenders and giving the Kent community a black-eye.
That is why we are proud to report that this year’s spring parties in Kent broke with tradition and were remarkable for what didn’t happen — there were no arrests, no fights, no property damage, and most importantly, no calls to parents to explain why their son or daughter was in the hospital.
The key measure of success for the Kent Police Department during the spring party season is how many people get hurt from parties that took an unexpected turn for the worse. By that yardstick, Spring 2013 was our best year ever.
Our partnerships with KentStateUniversity officials have been instrumental in educating and informing the student body, and the partnership continues to test out new and better ways to keep students, residents and visitors out of harm’s way. But this year’s success goes beyond the City and KSU, it includes the contributions of the fraternity houses, rental property owners and apartment complex managers who worked with the City to spread the word to their tenants to party smart, stay safe, and end their college years with graduation rather than academic suspension.
It is the Kent Police Department’s duty to serve and protect it’s citizens and every day they put themselves on the line to fulfill that mission. Police Chief Michelle Lee reports that leading up to the spring party season she hoped for the best but prepared for the worst, lining up law enforcement officers from around the region to join her for a long day devoted to keeping problems from spinning out of control. Thankfully, Police services were unnecessary and their days ended early and uneventfully.
We know that it takes a community to keep the spring party season safe which is why Chief Lee and I wanted to extend our appreciation to the entire community who took a stand for safety this year and helped make sure that everyone got home safe and sound. On behalf of the City of Kent and the Kent Police Department we want to express our gratitude to the many volunteers, students, administrators and community members that helped make the Spring 2013 party weekends safe and enjoyable for everyone.
It’s been great to celebrate all of the grand openings and ribbon cuttings in downtown Kent but keeping Spring 2013 safe for everyone may be our best accomplishment as a community yet.