Posted at: 08/29/2013 2:11 PM
Updated at: 08/29/2013 10:41 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
The approaching end of summer is ushering in a new school year. Thousands of college students are moving into their homes-away-from-home before classes begin.
At the University of Minnesota-Duluth Thursday morning, Chancellor Lendley Black said about 200 more new students are enrolled this year than last. He said it reverses a trend of decline over the last couple of years.
In front of Lake Superior Hall, he told Eyewitness News "we're excited to be welcoming a very large freshman class this year...it's a muggy day but it's always exciting. It's always exciting to start a new academic year. I love seeing new students come to campus and to meet their parents."
Move-in day is one of the very busiest days of the year on the campus. Of the more than 2,000 freshmen enrolled, Gina Katzmark, the director of external affairs, said 94 percent of them are living on campus.
Students and their parents rushing to move furniture, bedding, snacks and electronics into dorm rooms caused quite the traffic jam. But around 11:30 staff said the process was moving along smoothly with help from about 300 staff, faculty and students.
Meanwhile, surrounding campus the police presence was heavy. Driving onto campus on College Street just after 10 o'clock, Eyewitness News could see dozens of people drinking alcohol at more than one location, holding signs that said things like "you honk, we drink," and "leave your morals at home, welcome to UMD."
Students at one party told us they were all seniors, or had already graduated. They said they had been drinking since 7:30.
Duluth and UMD police officers checked identification and warned the students. According to students, police told them to keep off the sidewalk or risk getting a citation for drinking in public. Students also said they were told to refrain from using profanity.
According to Duluth Police Public Information Officer Jim Hansen, "as in years past we have additional staffing working the UMD and eastern part of town."
Hansen estimated that 10 additional officers were working in the area.
Around 5:50p.m., police said two people had been cited for underage consumption, three for possessing alcohol in public, and one for fleeing police. They also said one person was cited for urinating in public Thursday. All alleged violations happened within a three or four block radius of UMD, police said.
Over the weekend, freshmen are required to take part in "Welcome Week" activities. Classes begin on Tuesday.