Jackson A. McCarron and William M. Fierman
Many student-rented properties downtown closed their doors this past weekend after rumors circulated of a potential police crackdown.
South Sixth Street, usually buzzing with the sounds of students walking to and from parties and music emanating from houses, was eerily quiet on Friday and Saturday nights.
“Everybody was talking about the police being out in force,” said a student who owns a house downtown and wished to remain anonymous. “We had a mixer planned and we called it off. Apparently everyone else made the same call.”
The Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department (BVRPD) claimed no responsibility for the relative silence downtown.
“It was quiet last weekend,” BVRPD Chief of Police Paul Yost said. “But there was no policy change–nothing I can take credit for. We didn’t change anything.”
Three members of the Pennsylvania State Liquor Control Board were walking around downtown Lewisburg this weekend, Chief of Public Safety Stephen Barilar said.
“Because it is outside of our jurisdiction, they don’t consult us,” Barilar said. “They hit almost all college towns. I know they were already at State College this year.”
Faced with 19 University students already hospitalized due to dangerous alcohol consumption, leaders of the campus’ fraternities and sororities decided to ban hard alcohol at any greek function, official or otherwise.
The decision only included last weekend, according to Dean of Students Susan Lantz.
“I would certainly like their efforts to continue this semester and feel these student leaders have the potential to seriously make a difference with our high-risk drinking issues,” Lantz said.
For the first time this term, not a single University student was hospitalized due to excessive drinking, Lantz said.