Mayfest, University Police add more safety measures for Dillo Day

Ally Mutnick, Reporter

Mayfest has partnered with the University and Evanston to add new safety measures for Dillo Day, including a larger security team, more public restrooms and increased advertising for existing shuttle services.

In an effort to address common safety concerns and city violations, University Police will bring more officers and event staff to the Lakefill, specifically at the check-in points and stage, deputy chief Daniel McAleer said.

Last year, UP and the Evanston Police Department together issued 31 citations on and near NU’s campus on Dillo Day.

“A lot more resources have been dedicated to try and mitigate those types of issues,” McAleer said. “Whether it’s alcohol overdose or getting past the security checkpoints.”

Mayfest, UP and EPD work to reduce the amount of public intoxication, open containers of alcohol, public urination and noise violations.

UP will distribute officers differently around the Lakefill this year, giving them a better vantage point to spot illicit activity, said Jesus Roman, Mayfest’s director of university relations.

“In terms of NUPD and EPD, what they’re doing this year is they want to be more responsive,” Roman said. “If something happens in the Beer Garden, they want to be there right away.”

Also new this year are six additional portable public restrooms that will be stationed near two Lakefill entrances to reduce public urination if lines form to enter the concert area.

Three restrooms will be located at both the Allen Center and the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center, in addition to the 19 on the Lakefill and others spread out off campus.

McAleer said these measures could go a long way with Evanston residents.

“If you see someone urinating on your property or littering on your property … it doesn’t sit well with the neighbors,” he said.

NU volunteers will also participate in Associated Student Government’s Sunday clean-up, called ReNUvation. Volunteers go throughout the city and clean up any messes. Roman said as of Wednesday, the event has about 40 people signed up to participate.

The Lakefill water station will also remain open later, Roman said. Last year it closed at 8 p.m., and Saturday it will remain open until 10:30 p.m.

Mayfest has worked to better publicize the SafeRide shuttle system. Three 22-passenger shuttles will run from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary parking lot to the Lakefill from 1 to 11 p.m. on Dillo Day.

Roman said Mayfest hopes the shuttles will encourage people to come to the Lakefill and stay away from dangerous levels of alcohol consumption at off-campus parties. The new Dillo Village will offer food, games and a phone-charging station.

“The more time you’re charging your phone or having a beer at the Beer Garden, the less time you are taking shots,” Roman said.

SafeRide will pick students up from the hospital, an option that was also available last year but not well known, Roman said. Mayfest will have physicians working Saturday night at nearby hospitals notify students of this service.

EPD Cmdr. Jay Parrott said there was a high volume of alcohol transports last year. Yet he said the fact EPD made no arrests last year has him optimistic for Saturday.

“Our enforcement was minimal last year,” Parrott said. “As long as people abide by what they need to abide by, it should be a quiet Dillo Day.”