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Campus prepares for holiday festivities

The drop in temperature didn’t stop students from partaking in holiday festivities over the weekend, with many students donning festive holiday outfits and embracing the cold weather, more often with a few drinks in their system for warmth.

The unofficial holiday known as “Christmas Extravaganza” is widely celebrated on campus with the student population, including alcohol consumption throughout the day with everyone in holiday attire, which puts administration and Public Safety on high alert for the celebration.

Before the weekend, Dean of Students sent out a campus-wide email reminding people to “be safe” in all aspects of weather and celebrations where alcohol is added to the mix. The email stated for people to be responsible if choosing to drink and to keep their neighbors in mind when planning an event.

Augustana will have additional staff and Rock Island Police Officers on-campus and in the neighborhood to help keep students safe this weekend. Sanctions for violations occurring in the residence halls will be doubled” is what was stated in the email, with the last line issuing a warning for students and organizations found in violations of the policies.

The policy for alcohol violations taken from the school website listed off what a first offense incident included, which involves a meeting with the resident director, a $50 fine, educational sanctions, warnings of parental notification, and a $75 clean up cost for bodily-fluid spills.

Senior communications director Sam Schlouch said the exact number of violations that happened over the weekend wouldn’t be available until later this week and said, “We always want students to be responsible and exercise good judgment.”

Director of Residential Life Chris Beyer said in an email that the precautions the office took over the weekend for the dormitories.

“Our priority is to create a safe environment for students. Knowing that many students were likely to engage in higher than normal alcohol use over the weekend, we had our CAs conduct daytime rounds of the buildings. Our goal was to be present to try to assist students who might need it, prevent vandalism or other harmful impacts on the community, and maintain a healthy environment for students who were preparing for midterms this week,” said Beyer.

Community advisors in Westerlin alone were on high alert, with all 18 of them working shifts by the hour, starting their rounds from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. CAs in the other dormitories followed similar procedures. From CA accounts, intoxicated people in festive attire were seen gathering in large groups in the lobbies, but many of those groups did not move into the wings.