Administrators will increase security presence relative to typical levels across the College next Wednesday night in anticipation of the pre-Housing Day celebration known as "River Run."
In past years, River Run has involved freshmen visiting—and often consuming alcohol in—the upperclassman Houses the night before they receive their upperclassman housing assignments.
Michael C. Ranen, the freshman resident dean for Ivy Yard, said the Houses are responsible for taking precautionary measures and that security for this year’s River Run will be similar to previous years.
As in recent years, Houses will see Harvard University Police Department and Securitas presence increase compared to typical evenings, as well as a state police cruiser that will monitor the River House area, according to Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman ’67. He said he was uncertain whether or not swipe access to upperclassmen Houses will be turned off for freshmen.
“The Houses have to close their gates,” Dingman said. “Their efforts are going toward providing a warm welcome the next day for students who are assigned to their House.”
HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano wrote in an emailed statement that “HUPD as well as other local police jurisdictions are aware of the event and will work cooperatively to ensure that Wednesday night/Thursday morning is safe for everyone involved.”
Catalano declined to comment on specific security plans.
Despite significant police presence during River Run, students have continually found ways to participate in the celebration in years past.
“We didn’t have that many problems with security,” said Jacob W. Gollub ’17, who was able to gain entrance into each of the 12 Houses during River Run last year, adding that he did not notice significant police presence at the time. He also said he saw no security in the Quad that evening.
“I remember hearing stories from upperclassmen about how they got into Eliot and had to climb over a wall, jump on top of a dumpster, and climb through the d-hall window,” said Andy Kim ’17, who also participated in River Run last year. “I was pretty pumped.”
Kim said he did not face extreme security measures, which he attributes to the relatively late time—11 p.m.—at which he started River Run. He remembered seeing “a lot of freshmen” earlier in the evening, but not as many as the night progressed.
Next Wednesday, as in other years, the First Year Social Committee will host an event on Housing Day Eve, which Dingman and Ranen both encouraged freshmen to attend.
“This is a night where the class should be celebrating as a class back in the Yard,” Dingman said.
—Staff writer Annie E. Schugart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AnnieSchugart.
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