Almost 200 Busted During Central Michigan University’s Welcome Weekend
If there's one thing I remember about CMU -- it's that they know how to party. If there's two things -- the second would be that there's an extremely strong police presence on campus. The two things don't always mix.
I lived on campus at CMU for roughly 5 years. During that time I hosted and went to more parties than I can remember (not a joke -- I don't remember a lot of them). When the weather was nice, you could walk down Main or Washington and find several parties on Friday or Saturday night.
Arguably, the weekend that featured the most on-campus party action was welcome weekend. Many students move home with their parents for the summer, so when they return to school with their friends and all of the freedoms that college life affords -- it's time to f---ing rage! Even the freshmen kids from the dorms get in on the action. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that more students walk away from CMU with crippling student debt and a drinking problem than not... but maybe that's just my experience.
It just so happens that this past weekend was that magical time when everyone returns to campus (or arrives for the first time) to unleash the party animal inside of them that had been repressed for months and, for some, their entire lives. Unfortunately for them, the cops were out in full force for welcome weekend, which is not historically unusual. Even in my day, (early 2000s) the town was monitored by multiple police departments (Mt. Pleasant, Isabella County, Campus, State, Tribal, etc.), but they called for extra help on the big party weekends. Clearly, that is still the case.
It has been reported that almost 200 tickets were handed out just last weekend. 107 of those were issues for open intox, 56 of them going to minors in possession of alcohol or weed (M.I.P.), nine nuisance tickets were issued, and there were 22 arrests.
According to Mt. Pleasant police officer Jeff Browne, about half of the people they encountered "were here with a friend at CMU to party, or they were here because they heard this was the place to party," and not a local resident or someone affiliated with the school. That's how it always starts, believe me. I went up to visit one weekend, and then kept visiting on weekends until I ended up staying there for years. I didn't actually attend CMU -- I just worked and partied for a few years. Maybe it wasn't the best use of my time, but I don't have hundreds of thousands in student debt either.
I joked around about the cops being out in full force as "unfortunate" for the students, but it's actually a good thing. They probably saved a lot of lives last weekend just by reining in those somewhat out-of-control partiers that might become a danger to themselves and others if left unchecked. In a party town like that -- it's easy to let it get away from you. Stay safe, Chips.