The University of New Hampshire (UNH) fall concert was presented by the Student Committee on Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) this year on November 17. The performers hosted included Cheat Codes, an EDM group, opened by Lil Skies, an up and coming Soundcloud rapper.
But with an annual event like the UNH SCOPE concerts occurring every fall and spring semester, the excitement of students leads to often underage, excessive amounts of drinking.
For only $25, undergraduates at the university were able to purchase a student floor ticket. Over 3,000 people were in attendance of the fall 2018 concert.
With no alcoholic beverages being served inside the Whittemore Center where the concert took place, many students begin binge drinking before trying to enter the concert when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.
As a result, the UNH Police Department confirmed that 21 people were arrested in connection with the concert this night. The police department also confirmed that the majority of students arrested were not of legal age to drink.
The main cause for the arrests at the concert were underage alcohol consumption, yet also included disorderly conduct, internal possession and unlawful possession of alcohol. Chief Paul Dean of the UNH Police Department explained that collaboration is done with SCOPE in preparation for the concert.
“The UNH Police works very closely with SCOPE to ensure a safe venue,” Chief Dean said.
“We accomplish this by speaking with other recent venues that host the selected artist and designing the floor of the arena to be safe for all.”
As for SCOPE itself, the physical arrests are somewhat out of their control, so the team works with law enforcement to regulate the out-of-hand behavior of students as much as possible.
“We do the best we can to promote an alcohol and drug free experience but college kids are still going to do that stuff,” SCOPE production director Daniel Efraimson said. “We have a large presence of cops and Green Mountain Security members there to help maintain interactions.”
Along with this, SCOPE also takes other necessary precautions to ensure that students are aware of what is expected of them at the concert.
“We advertise our rules and promote that we want to have a safe concert experience for everyone who attends,” Efraimson said. “We post on our social media the rules; like no drugs, alcohol, weapons, bags, vapes, etc. And you can find those on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. We want all the people attending to have a safe concert experience and to enjoy it and have a good time.”
Students arrested at the concert are processed at the UNH Police Department and a bail commissioner, who is a part of the Dover Circuit Court, assigns them a court date.
The majority of students arrested will have to return to New Hampshire during finals week to attend their court date. According to Chief Dean, court dates are mandatory when students engage in “underage alcohol consumption or other violations of NH Law.”
“We aim for less and less arrests each show,” Efraimson explained, “which it has been going that way.”