With the coming Pig Roast weekend, the Richmond College deans said they were not worried about student conduct before, during or after the event.
Joe Boehman, the dean of Richmond College, said Pig Roast was a great event for the university and would stay that way as long as the people who participated were doing so properly.
Boehman said Pig Roast had become legendary with regards to alcohol consumption and abuse in the years before he came to Richmond. The university had taken measures to change the culture of the day, even by attempting to change the event’s name, he said.
“Pig Roast has become a part of campus culture,” Boehman said, “but parameters have to be set to encourage policy and ensure students’ safety.”
Patrick Benner, the Richmond College associate dean for residence life, said the number of policy infractions that took place during the Pig Roast festivities had decreased considerably over the past few years, and he hoped that this trend would continue.
“Pig Roast has changed dramatically during my time here,” Benner said. “It is much more organized now than it was then, and that has made it a much more enjoyable event.”
Both Benner and Boehman expressed similar concerns about underage drinking, but said they were happy with the cooperation between the police, deans’ offices and Greek life. They said all fraternities are required to check IDs before providing alcohol to anyone.
“We go through meetings every year to make sure the event goes smoothly,” Benner said. “This is a good event for the students to have and for the fraternities to host, so we just ask people to make wise decisions.”
The Richmond College area coordinators will be on rounds starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, to ensure that students are celebrating safely and appropriately, Benner said. He said that this was the only difference in policy enforcement between Pig Roast and any other weekend.
“We try to treat Pig Roast like any other weekend,” Benner said, “except that we know we have to take greater measures to ensure student safety.”
The main focus of these rounds will be the residence halls, dining halls and fraternity row, Benner said. He said that, while students might perceive the extra precautions as a way for the dean’s office staff to catch students drinking, that is not the case.
“Our number one priority is student safety,” he said. “We are not out to get anybody. We just want to make sure that we do everything that we can to keep people safe.”
Boehman said that the dean’s office staff wanted students to enjoy the celebration, as long as they do it in a safe manner. He said that while alcohol consumption had become widely associated with the event, he wants to stress the importance of celebrating responsibly.
“We aren’t going to stick our heads in the sand and act like it doesn’t happen,” Boehman said. “We just want folks to not overindulge and be responsible.”
Contact reporter James Riddick at firstname.lastname@example.org