Annual block parties and the football team’s crushing victory over Notre Dame on Saturday translated into one of the most anticipated party weekends of the semester.
Traditional party spots like Church Street and East University Avenue hosted some of the biggest unofficial block parties on campus. But two of the largest block parties – Arborfest, on Arbor Street, and Lindenfest, on Linden Street – did not fare so well.
Engineering senior Matt McGrail lives on East University, where he and his roommates hosted a party with live music played by local band Who’s Aaron. The music, which could be heard for blocks, attracted nearly 100 people. And what began as a small party, soon became a house full of people overflowing into the front lawn and side driveway.
Commenting on his class load this semester, Engineering senior Mark Richardson said, “It’s rough … you just have to make time to have fun.”
Dancing to the music played by Who’s Aaron, LSA senior Defne Allen said she has been having a good time this semester. She added, “Notre Dame sucks… and Michigan rules!”
The Ann Arbor Police Department broke up both the Linden and Arbor block parties and sent students home at about 11:30 Saturday night. Before AAPD arrived, Arbor was flooded with partygoers, but by 1 a.m. the street was nearly deserted.
“The cops just came and broke it up all of a sudden,” LSA senior and Arbor resident Craig Paridy. Paridy said he was not aware of any fights. Police told him a local business reported loud noise on the street, but Paridy said the only nearby businesses still open were two stores that provided kegs for the parties.
An AAPD officer who refused to give his name said, “There were thousands of people blocking the streets. … Our priority was to clear down the street and end the parties.” When asked why they targeted houses rather than people in the streets, the officer said the houses were the source of the crowd, and that there was underage drinking.
Paridy said initially officers were polite, but when they cleared the streets, he had to gain clearance from the AAPD before entering his house. The officers then told him to stay inside, close his door and keep quiet.
LSA sophomore Dan Whipple also ran into trouble with AAPD that night, even though the party at his Linden Street house had finished by the time police arrived.
An officer noticed a couch blocking his front door and told him that was a fire hazard. Whipple and his roommates were given a choice between receiving a citation for a fire hazard or a noise violation. He said, “The officer made the fire hazard (citation) sound really bad, so we took a noise violation.” He added that it he felt it was unfair to receive a noise violation when the AAPD did not arrive until his party was over.