UK Police, RAs to help control students

By Drew Teague

UK Police and the Residence Life Association will be prepared for this weekend, in the event of students becoming wild over a potential victory of the men’s basketball team against the University of Connecticut.

UK Police has a plan they have refined since the 1998 championship to make sure this weekend will run smoothly.

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said last year’s run in the tournament helped the department this season, preparing for a late run in March and April.

“This weekend we’ll have everybody working Saturday, and more than likely we’ll be back in here on Monday,” Monroe said.

Monroe said the plan for this weekend will be determined by how fans react to the outcome of the game and how long they stay out.

“On Saturday night and Monday night both, we’ll determine on a case- by- case basis how long we are going to leave (officers) here,” Monroe said. “We may send them home in shifts, progressively downsize, but it’s all going to depend on activity.”

Monroe said this season’s fan reaction is very similar to the last time the Wildcats made the Final Four, as he was here to experience it.

“Traffic definitely increased in the campus area (on Saturday),” Monroe said. “I was here in ‘96 and ’98 both, and that’s exactly what it reminded me of— everyone wanted to drive through campus and everybody was excited and happy.”

Mike Smith, a philosophy sophomore and resident adviser in Blanding IV, said resident advisers will be on lockdown this weekend because of the men’s basketball team making the Final Four.

“Have a presence of authority in the residence halls is going to discourage acts of vandalism or other acts from happening inside the halls,” Smith said.

Smith said with the extra presence of resident advisers in the area over the weekend, it will discourage partying in the residence halls and prevent people from bringing in banned items.

“Having a visible presence during the time surrounding the game is going to heavily discourage potential problems that we could run in to inside of the hall,” Smith said. “Acts of vandalism are most likely, but we also must take into consideration the presence of alcohol or substances which are forbidden anyway, but have a heighted chance of being snuck into the halls for the occasion.”

Though most resident advisers knew about this possibility when they took the job, they are not all pleased, Smith said.

“Several RAs aren’t too pleased with having to sacrifice a potentially free weekend for what could be nothing, but not only is a part of the job requirement we recognize when we’re hired, it’s also for the safety of our residents in general,” Smith said.

UK Police will be patrolling all weekend and Monroe said they do not want to have to make arrests, but if the situation comes to that, his officers will.