The weekend that follows St. Patrick’s Day, frequently dubbed “St. Fratty’s Day,” is widely celebrated at the University.
In recent years, University officials, student organizations and law enforcement agencies have aimed to increase student safety on St. Fratty’s Day.
According to Diane Brown, the spokesperson for the Division of Safety and Security, the University of Michigan Police Department made just four alcohol-related arrests this past weekend. Three of the arrests, of which one was a University student, were for minor in possession of alcohol, and one was for operating while intoxicated, issued to a visitor.
The Ann Arbor Police Department issued six minor in possession of alcohol tickets, two open container tickets, four disturbing the peace notices and made one drunk driving arrest.
The Ann Arbor crime map confirmed that between 11:36 a.m. and 4:32 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, the AAPD issued three citations for disturbing the peace — one on the 1000 block of Hill Street, another on the 800 block of East University Avenue and another on the 800 block of South Forest Avenue.
“From a law enforcement perspective, activities this weekend went well,” University Police Chief Robert Neumann said. “We believe the strong planning efforts in advance of St. Patrick’s Day and the activities to educate our community and provide resources were very helpful.”
LSA sophomore Sydney Brown, president of the University’s chapter of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, said Panhellenic sororities met three weeks before the festivities to develop precautions.
“Given the amount of scrutiny of Greek life in the recent events in this past semester, both the Panhel President Maddie Walsh and all the other presidents of all the other Panhellenic sororities, myself included, feel as though we need to ensure better responsibility and safety of all of our members,” Brown said.
She said the measures included offering breakfast and lunch at several of the sorority houses and creating “accountability partners,” matching girls to watch out for one another throughout the weekend.
However, efforts to ensure the weekend went smoothly extended beyond Greek life.
Joy Pehlke, a health educator at Wolverine Wellness and University Health Services, co-coordinated a St. Patrick’s Day committee. The committee included representatives from the Dean of Students Office, the Center for Campus Involvement, Greek life, Recreational Sports, Dance Marathon, Beyond the Diag, Residential Life, the University Department of Public Safety, the AAPD and local bars and restaurants.
“Every St. Patrick’s Day, a number of different units on campus get together in a proactive measure to make sure that there is a coordinated effort around some of these times that can be higher risk,” Pehlke said. “So St. Patrick’s Day for us is not any different, necessarily, than Halloween can sometimes be, football tailgate Saturdays.”
Pehlke said the committee began meeting two months prior to St. Patrick’s Day to plan events for both the weekend before and the weekend after the holiday.
This year, the committee developed a theme for the activities surrounding St. Patrick’s Day — March Radness. The initiative spanned from March 13 through March 21 and included a canoe trip, obstacle course and rock climbing, among other activities.
Pehlke said the student-designed Stay in the Blue app, which was launched in partnership with the University Health System’s alcohol safety program in 2013 to help students track their drinking, recently saw a dramatic rise in downloads.
She said the app, which has been downloaded over 7,000 times to date, was downloaded 159 times in the week leading up to March 21.
Pehlke added that the initiatives put forth by the committee this year were not very different from those in past years.
“I don’t feel like anything we coordinated was vastly different … I think it’s more that every year it’s a little more of a moving target with different pieces of predictability and unpredictability,” she said. “There are so many factors — the date, the weather, all sorts of things. We do the same proactive measures every year.”