Ferris Fest shenanigans

Ferris DPS and students talk drinking

Students have been known to pack into Oakwood Townhouses’ courtyard for marathon partying during past Ferris Fests.
Students have been known to pack into Oakwood Townhouses’ courtyard for marathon partying during past Ferris Fests. Submitted photo

Music Takes Action, formerly known as Ferris Fest, is only a few weekends away and the overall vibe this year is substantially more positive than last year.

Students have shown more approval for the selection of Lupe Fiasco compared to Big K.R.I.T. and Mayer Hawthorne. The weekend will likely be filled with great music, good vibes and lots of work for Ferris’ Department of Public Safety (DPS).

One of the reasons Ferris Fest transformed into a fundraising event dubbed “Music Takes Action” is to diminish the party connotation with the event. Regardless of the name, the weekend of the event is more known for its massive block party at the Oakwood Townhouses than for the performers of the festival. At the block party, students can expect to see a couch burning, a field covered in empty beer cans and the whole front field filled with parked cars. You can also expect hundreds of highly intoxicated college students.

The university would like this weekend to focus on safe fun at the festival, not drinking and parties. One way Ferris will enforce that is by utilizing four units of police force: Ferris State DPS, Big Rapids DPS, Mecosta County Police and Michigan State Police.

Ferris DPS director Bruce Borkovich stressed that the weekend is for the students to get outside and enjoy a live music concert and the police are there to patrol and keep the students safe.

“DPS will be patrolling the concert, Big Rapids Police will be in the town and on campus and the State Police will be partnered with them,” Borkovich said. “We are there to show our numbers, keep the event and students safe and only intervene if somebody is committing a violation.”

Students have a different opinion of the motives of the police force, specifically related to students drinking. An early childhood education junior who preferred to remain anonymous said she thinks cops should leave students alone when it comes to drinking.

“The police should make sure students are safe instead of attempting to abolish drinking,” she said. “The first concern should be safety. Now that I am 21, I will definitely be way more drunk at the concert and afterward now that I do not have to worry about getting an MIP.”

Brandon Swanson, an information security and intelligence sophomore, came to Ferris from Illinois and was shocked by the controlling nature of the police force.

“The police do not do much to keep us safe, they just negatively impact students’ future,” Swanson said.

Swanson added that yes, the drinking age is 21, but many underage college students drink. He doesn’t feel minors should be criminalized for partaking in an action all college students do, as well as most people in our age group all over the world.