Apr 182012
 
Authors: Erik Carman

In wake of an announcement saying Boulder police and CU-Boulder may be cracking down on its infamous 4/20 celebration, CSU police say this change may affect Fort Collins.

“It’s possible we may see some (celebration goers) trickle to CSU,” said CSUPD Sergeant Adam Smith. “Time will tell if Boulder’s enforcement action will have an impact here.”

According to CU Spokesman Bronson Hillard, the university will be taking actions to limit its campus visitors on April 20, a day that usually involves large crowds forming on the campus’s Norlin Quad to smoke marijuana.

“In the last two to three years, we have seen the crowds balloon up to 10,000 to 12,000,” Hilliard said. “They gather in the academic part of the campus… it has become a huge obstruction to basic academic operations.”

Ryan Huff, a spokesman for the CU-Boulder police department, said officers would be stationed around the campus to check for student ID’s. Those who are not CU students and do not have a visitor’s pass will be asked to leave, Huff said. He added that violators may be charged with trespassing –– a class-three misdemeanor.

“It (trespassing) can carry a fine of up to $750 and a sentence of up to six months,” Huff said. “But we’re hoping for peaceful interactions.”

Huff also mentioned that the grassy section of Norlin quad will be closed to everyone.

Hilliard added that the university would not be holding campus tours.

And, as for CSU students planning on heading to CU’s campus this Friday, Hilliard had one message.

“This is not something our university takes delight in, but no CSU student who comes down here is going to be able to get on campus,” Bronson said.

Despite the university’s planned attempts, some students like junior art major Andi Didericksen say they don’t believe it will make a large difference.

“If they try to stop it, students will just want to do it more,” Didericksen said. “If they were going to stop it, they should have done it years ago.”

Another CSU student, senior English major Cody Hunter, said she felt CU-Boulder was making a mistake.

“It’s a good forum to be able to smoke [marijuana] and not get in trouble,” Hunter said. She added that events from previous years were supervised by police and were conducted in a safe environment.

Carly Robinson, the student body vice president of Internal Affairs for CU, said the event had brought a lot of negative attention to campus.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re known for this,” Robinson stated. “The last five years have been terrible for the university.”

“After we were elected, we wanted to get 4/20 off of our campus.”

Robinson, who helped bring the resolution to end the 4/20 events to CU’s legislative council, said it was voted on unanimously.

“However,” Robinson continued, “We wanted to put on a concert to give students something else to do.”

The university will be holding a concert featuring Wyclef Jean. Doors open at 2 p.m., and access is limited to CU students, Robinson said.

As for CSU, Smith said CSUPD hasn’t had to increase enforcement during 4/20 in the past, citing the force’s focus on taking steps early to control crowds and break up small gatherings before they become a problem.

“We haven’t had problems on campus (in the past),” Smith said. “This year’s 4/20 event will be the litmus test to see how effective Boulder’s enforcement is going to be.”

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

– CU plans to get 4/20 off of their campus this year. – The grassy sections of Norlin quad will be closed to everyone. – No visitors will be allowed on campus. – Trespassers may be cited.

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