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Police look to keep bid night safe

By Ty Young
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 12, 2003

Bid night partygoers beware.

UAPD officers will be out in force patrolling the campus in an attempt to prevent the complications that arise when alcohol and students mix.

The "party patrol", which consists of six UAPD officers, will focus on keeping partiers safe while enforcing drinking laws. With fraternities holding bid night parties tonight, fraternity houses will be prime targets.

"The purpose is to handle any crimes that result on campus, and close to campus, from UA students partying on bid night, or any other nights that there are groups of UA students that are drinking alcohol," said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, UAPD spokesman.

Mejia said that because there is a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and criminal activity, fraternity bidnight calls for additional help from police. The outlying campus areas will also be patrolled, and officers on the patrol might be called in to help elsewhere.

"They can be yanked off the party patrol because they are working for the university in a patrol capacity," he said. "Their main function is to ensure the safety of the people partying."

The patrol will have a number of officers on motorbikes, in squad cars and on bicycles. Mejia said this would give UAPD additional coverage to protect students, even those not drinking.

"We know there are going to be a lot of people on bid night socializing, but not everybody will be drinking," he said. "We want to make sure everybody on campus is safe."

The Interfraternity Council and Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol will also provide additional support for student safety.

Clint Walls, IFC vice president of public affairs, said tonight's bidnight will be the same as years past.

"This is a pretty typical rush week, pretty typical bidnight," he said. "Nothing major has changed in the GAMMA policies in the past year."

Both IFC and GAMMA work in conjunction with UAPD to ensure that minors are not drinking and that uninvited guests are not allowed.

Fraternities are expected to provide guest lists to IFC and GAMMA before the party and notify UAPD before the party.

Those on the guest list who arrive must show proof that they are of age to drink.

"If you're a minor, you don't want to be drinking at one of these parties because (police) do catch it, which is the intended purpose," he said.

The fraternity chapters are also liable if a minor is caught drinking. If GAMMA finds that an underage person at the party is drinking, the chapter may be sent before the greek judiciary board.

"It can happen the very first time," he said. "If you're at that party and you're the first minor that is caught drinking, then yes, it could result in the chapter being sent to J-Board."

The "party patrol" and GAMMA also have the right to check the identification of any person drinking at a fraternity party. This, he said, provides multiple checks to make sure the rules are being followed.

"I imagine that it is going to be just like any other fraternity party night," he said.

The "party patrol" was created after UAPD officer Kevin Barleycorn was shot at a bidnight party on Aug. 24, 1990. Eddie Myers, then 17 years old, who was an uninvited guest at the Kappa Sigma bid-night party fired his gun into the air. Another UAPD officer thought Myers was aiming at him, and fired back. The bullet struck officer Barleycorn and killed him as he was trying to push Myers out of the way, Mejia said.

Since then, UAPD has made it a point to police all parties on and off campus.

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