PHOTOS: Penn Students Fight for Their Right to Party at Free Fling Protest



Students gathered today on Penn’s College Green to protest the university’s increasingly stringent security measures. The demonstration coincides with this weekend’s “Spring Fling,” a traditional party weekend at Penn where students de-stress to the tune of on-campus concerts and parties.

Since last year, the Penn Department of Public Safety (DPS) has partnered with the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) to police underage drinking during on-campus parties. Tactics include undercover patrolling, where BLCE officers are given student IDs to infiltrate student spaces in order to monitor underage drinking. DPS and BLCE have announced that any student hosting parties where alcohol is served to minors “will be taken in handcuffs.”

Penn Students Fight for Their Right to Party »

Penn Invites Undercover Cops to Campus to Bust Students

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.

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