With more than a handful of guests visiting, a concert that holds over 2,000 people, and events buzzing all weekend, Spring Weekend would seem to be more chaotic than most.
However, Spring Weekend is not much different than many other weekends during which arrests and violations take place. Ethan Kipnes, associate director of Campus Safety, spoke of his perspective of Spring Weekend. “We deal with Social Activities Council and all kinds of groups when planning events and the Campus Safety philosophy is always ‘How can we support a group’s event to be a successful and safe event?’ And what we look at as a successful event is that a number of students can enjoy it and have fun but also at the end we can look at it and say that went really well, let’s do it year after year,” Kipnes said.
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Butler Resident Assistant Danielle Johnson said, “It’s just a way to relax before finals and kind of let loose and let go of some steam.” Johnson continued, “If we do come across any incidents, dealing with those can always be a little stressful but it’s just like any other weekend with that and the noise level can sometimes get a little loud,” she added. Sophomore desk attendant Jovan Oquendo explained what he dealt with last year during Spring Weekend in Randall Hall. “A lot of people come in drunk. There were some people that came in too belligerent and I had to call, but besides that it was just the RA’s calling, doing rounds.”
Oquendo made a point that freshmen cooperate more than others. “The best thing about working in a freshmen dorm is they listen more and they follow the rules more. Upperclassmen, they already know who you are, so they just try to walk past you,” he said.
Prior to the weekend, Johnson said RA’s and desk attendants knew there would be plenty of guests and a lot more people around, and would be keeping that thought in mind. “Spring Weekend and Pumpkin Fest are the two biggest weekends for guests and so we already know that going into it. We also have friends and people who want to come up and see the different bands and the attractions and so we just do the best we can and try to enjoy the weekend,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained how she prepares for this weekend and said, “I’m on duty so you can’t really go into it thinking there’s going to be no massive parties or anything like that, obviously you don’t want to run into those situations but it happens and you deal with it as it comes.”
“At any point my phone could ring, and it could be a serious situation that we need to deal with any day, certainly when we have these larger events there’s always the potential of a large incident happening at the concert with 2,400 people and having to deal with that level of a situation. On the other hand, when you have large scale events we have that many more people here to work those events so we’re already in a better position to handle a situation,” said Kipnes.
Kipnes laid out the digits and said that for the concert, SAC hired an extra eight campus safety officers, five officers from the U.S. Security Associates (a contract security company) and four Keene Police officers as well as a Keene Fire Department EMT. He also said the regular Campus Safety staff was on duty to assist elsewhere.
After the concert, Kipnes said there were about five people removed for either crowd surfing or intoxication, but no major incidents or injuries.
On Saturday night’s rave event, one student twisted their knee, however, no other injuries were reported.
“We didn’t have any major issues so I would call it a success,” he said. Kipnes said there were reports of criminal mischief such as property damage as well as intoxication issues with guests and residents on-campus, but says nothing was a surprise.
“I wouldn’t classify this weekend as an out of the ordinary weekend when I look back at the number of events we had going on. The weather was nice, there were many students around,” Kipnes said. “Again when I look at the incidents that we had, there are none I can attribute directly to or because the events were going on,” Kipnes added.
Johnson said students tend to get loud during Spring Weekend, but also pointed out what she has dealt with in the past is more or less the same as any other weekend. “I think that people just let loose, sometimes a little bit too much,” she said.
Oquendo explained that he doesn’t mind desk attending during Spring weekend but it can be difficult.
“I have to fit in my mid-terms, job, and partying all together. It’s hard,” he said.
Oquendo gave advice to students for how to handle themselves and said what is key is “being able to have fun, being able to organize yourself so that you can have all this fun and do work at the same time.”
Kipnes said not only do students have to keep things in mind about what they’re doing, but Campus Safety officers as well.
“One of the things that’s easy for us to forget sometimes in Campus Safety is that the majority of students we deal with have all the best intentions with what they’re doing, they’re not doing things that we need to address and they’re making good decisions,” Kipnes said.
Kipnes continued, “And they’re making good choices and they go to these things just to have fun and enjoy themselves.” Kipnes furthered that a lot of work goes into this weekend for all the organizations that put these events on, but pointed out that Campus Safety workers can go unnoticed.
He explained that these officers take on numerous extra hours during this weekend to ensure student safety and security.
“They probably don’t get the thanks and gratitude they should, so there’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle that fit together to make a weekend like this work and they’re certainly a big piece of that puzzle,” he said.
Kipnes said “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” in regards to changing things for next year’s Spring Weekend. He said there are many reasons he likes working at KSC, and some of them include these types of weekends that create a tradition at a college that students enjoy and bring back every year with a positive attitude.
Brittany Ballantyne can be contacted at