Fred Fest discussed at campus meeting

Campus officials, police chiefs and members of the community gathered Wed-nesday afternoon at the Williams Center on the SUNY Fredonia campus for a debriefing on Fred Fest 2013.

The meeting included many members of the Campus and Community Coalition, a group of students, campus officials, Fredonia residents and police chiefs Brad Meyers and Ann Burns, which discusses issues such as Fred Fest and other campus/community issues throughout the year.

Vice president for Student Affairs David Herman asked the assembled group to brainstorm first what are the positives and negatives stemming from Fred Fest and then what could be some solutions.

To begin, a video shot by students at a party on Canadaway Street was shown, “to get the group thinking.”

“What students do and what we think students do may be different,” Herman pointed out.

The video showed partiers drinking alcohol through funnels, standing on a roof and a back yard completely full of people.

To view the video shown at the meeting go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-aLm6QgX04. Warning: this video contains consumption of alcohol, swearing and offensive hand gestures.

The group listed positives like Fredonia pride, revenue for businesses, a focus for celebrations and saying goodbye to the senior class as well as Fred Fest being relatively safe in that there is no rioting behavior.

Negatives brainstormed included miscommunication, a lack of coordination, a burden on the tax payers, property damage, non-student poor behavior, hazardous drinking, public urination, noise, litter, fighting, liability and a negative association of “Fred Fest.”

Solutions to some of the problems centered around local ordinances, enforcement and communication.

Three types of ordinances were suggested: a social host law which would hold tenants accountable for disruptive parties through fines, a rooftop ordinance limiting the number of people allowed on a roof except for maintenance and a party registration plan.

One suggestion included an initiative to foster neighbor relations.

“If the students know you then your house is protected. They don’t trash the people they know,” Coalition member and resident Bret Gould pointed out.

It was also suggested landlords hold tenants more accountable through lease clauses.

“There needs to be communication from landlords to tenants that these parties and this behavior is not acceptable,” one resident and student housing landlord said.

It was pointed out of the 54 tickets issued in by village police, none was to current SUNY Fredonia students. Also of the 24 tickets issued on campus only three were to Fredonia students.

This posed the suggestions that the invitation of non-student guests to Fred Fest be limited.

College Council Chairman Frank Pagano said the problem with house parties is that they are all over the village and suggested Water and Canadaway streets be blocked off to accommodate all the partying there.

Chief Meyers said this would not help because then police would not even have the authority to ask people to leave.

SUNY Fredonia President Virginia Horvath suggested volunteers could act as marshals to watch for vandalism and unsafe behavior and either report it to police or warn against it.

One of the final suggestions was that the community have a way to alert the coalition to issues and concerns throughout the year. The group decided to create an email account which will be up and running soon.