The 200 block of South 10th St., Indiana, Friday afternoon, March 24, 2017. A tenant at one of the parties reported that the landlord posted the no-parties sign earlier in the day and asked tenants to observe a no-beer-kegs rule. Photo by David Loomis.
By Logan Hullinger
INDIANA – A concerted public-private effort to dampen what Indiana University of Pennsylvania officials describe as “celebratory tendencies” among students in early spring met its match against warm dry weather for most of the IUPatty’s 2017 party weekend.
Swarms of student revelers and party tourists drawn to the day-and-night “alcohol culture on campus,” as one university administrator put it in a March 21 email, overflowed sidewalks and streets from Frat Row to Grandview Avenue in seas of shamrock-green T-shirts and go-cups.
On Grandview, four police cruisers and eight or more officers rolled up at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday to break up a party attended by roughly 250 people. Police arrested one young man as he crossed the street.
At 2:30 p.m., a party drew between 250 and 300 people to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at 220 S. Seventh St. Fraternity members asked a photographer and a reporter to leave the property. No police were in the vicinity.
IUPatty’s crowd on the march at Maple Street and South Sixth Street, 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25. Photo by Cody S. Minich.
On Wednesday, Indiana borough police reported weekend assistance from state police, campus police, the county sheriff’s office and officers from Punxsutawney, Homer City and Blairsville. “There were no significant shifts in manpower or assignments from years past,” Indiana police Lt. Justin Schawl wrote in a March 29 email.
But police were “unusually busy” during the weekend revel, The Indiana Gazette reported. Police reported one man shot dead and three people wounded by gunfire in two Saturday morning incidents off-campus.
The bad news ran counter to coordinated efforts by university administrators, various police agencies, landlords and others to prevent the sort of mayhem that has bruised the campus’ public image over the six- or seven-year run of unsanctioned annual celebrations that have coincided with dwindling enrollments.