Penn Invites Undercover Cops to Campus to Bust Students

With undercover officers set to blanket campus at Spring Fling this weekend, 1,400 students have signed up to protest the crackdown.

Let’s say you’re a freshman Penn student. You worked hard in high school to get into an Ivy League school, or maybe your parents donated money for a building or whatever. Either way, you feel you’ve earned it. You and/or your parents are paying $58,812 for tuition, room and board your first year. And you’re struggling under your first-year course load and you don’t know how to handle being away from home for the first time. Maybe you don’t like your roommate.

But, ahh! The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and you finally feel like you have a handle on everything. And this weekend is Spring Fling! The annual party weekend is usually a three-day bender for most Penn kids, with a concert. This year it’s headlined by David Guetta. (My freshman year, the concert was Ben Harper — with, hilariously in retrospect, a pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas opening.) You’re excited to blow off some steam — and get plastered in what is essentially an event sanctioned by the University — before making one final push to the end of your first year. You’re almost there!

And now Penn — the school you’re paying 60 grand to — is inviting the cops to bust parties at Spring Fling. Not cool, man. Not cool.




The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that, at the expressed request of the Penn Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will be undercover at Fling this year.

DPS and BLCE emphasized that liquor enforcement officers would be handing out citations and felonies. People hosting parties where alcohol is being served to minors can be arrested for a misdemeanor of the third degree, Rush said. Hosts “will actually be taken in handcuffs,” Steele added.

Fraternity members were also warned at last Wednesday’s meeting that officers who looked like students will be infiltrating Fling parties to see if alcohol is being supplied to minors. “Undercover work is our speciality, so to speak,” Steele said. If you walk into a large party this weekend, “know that you’re probably going to meet an BLCE officer,” Rush added.

What a fun way to end the school year! If you're wondering what it takes to mobilize bored Penn kids, 1,400 people have registered on Facebook for a protest at noon today protesting the crackdown.

Fortunately for underage Penn kids, the good people at 34th Street magazine have written a guide to avoiding narcs. I especially enjoyed this part:

If an “RA” knocks on your Quad door out of the blue and demands to search your room for alcohol, this person is probably not an RA. Or a NARC. Despite rumors of such sketchy Quad searches, it seems that if it’s really happening, it’s thanks to people who are probably too cheap to buy their own alcohol. Use your noggins, kids.

Yep. Even on the Penn campus, there are people too cheap to buy their own booze.

[Daily Pennsylvanian]

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Tannenwald

    A long time coming. Kudos to Penn

  • FormerPennAdmin

    Alcohol is not “essentially sanctioned” at Fling, and hasn’t been for a very long time. Penn provides a high profile concert, and a two day carnival atmosphere with food and entertainment. The fact that students choose to use the opportunity to abuse alcohol, does not mean that is sanctioned by the university. For years the university has employed a variety of measures to attempt to quell alcohol abuse during that time. If those measures have failed, perhaps it is time to take more drastic measures.

  • Northeaster

    What whiny bs. Oh no, the entitled brats at Penn won’t be able to binge drink for one weekend! The horror! Its not like binge drinking is some super safe fun activity.

  • Natalie

    It may not be “sanctioned” by Penn but they haven’t done much about it either. I used to live in Ucity and would walk by what are obviously huge parties and kids stumbling out of them. Penn police and security just stood there and watched them all walk by. I don’t even care and could point to 4-5 parties in a 2 block radius of my house that weekend each year. The week makes the neighborhood unbearable and leaves it looking like crap.