New security helps on Homecoming

In what might be a preview of the scene on University Avenue for home football games next year, private security officers were hired for the University of MinnesotaâÄôs fraternities during the weekendâÄôs festivities. There were 15 security officers patrolling fraternity row during the Homecoming parade Saturday morning, as well as 12 on Friday and Saturday nights. The fraternity and sorority governing bodies, Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, each contributed $800, while the University contributed $1,600 , to Wolf Protection Agency for security. Matt Brunnette , IFCâÄôs vice president of judicial affairs, said the weekend went well. He said the security helped dispel crowds that were gathering in front of chapter houses and on sidewalks. Brunnette said it was helpful that the security guards looked more like actual police than any he had ever seen. Nicole Mielke , PHCâÄôs vice president of public relations, said one reason for this yearâÄôs security was an incident last year on the 1700 block of University Avenue, where police were called in to marshal an out-of-control party. IFC President Dustin Norman said behavior on University Avenue during the parade last year was more disruptive than in years past. He said one reason for the security this year was to preview what home football games could be like next year. He said this weekendâÄôs security is representative of the bare minimum in 2009. Norman said it would be useful to have their own security force, rather than relying on University police. Amelious Whyte , chief of staff for the Office of Student Affairs, said he hoped the security would increase safety this year. âÄúWith the combination of it being Homecoming and Halloween weekend, we thought it was prudent to take some steps to just help enhance safety over the weekend,âÄù Whyte said. Whyte said a lot of the problems arise when students try to get into fraternity parties without an invitation. âÄúWhen the fraternities do what they should be doing, which is not letting people in who arenâÄôt on their guest list, sometimes the people who are not being allowed in donâÄôt like that and sometimes cause problems,âÄù Whyte said. He said before the parade that he hoped the security would deter these incidents. Larry Diamond , general manager of Wolf Protection Agency, said his agency was there for crowd control. He said its job during the parade would be to keep the fraternities on their property and not blocking the parade route. The security agency left policing underage drinking to University police. âÄúThe biggest thing weâÄôre looking for is to make sure that if they are going to be drinking, that they stay on their property âÄî public streets and sidewalks, they will be arrested,âÄù Diamond said.