Police report on 801 day


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

A body camera worn by an ISUPD officer.

The Ames and Iowa State Police Departments said the new measures taken on 801 day were effective at reducing unwanted behaviors.

Over the weekend before classes, fines for first-offense nuisance parties were raised from $100 to $650. Every violation following that was $855. In addition, there was increased towing for illegal street parking.

Commander Daniel Walters, the public information officer for the Ames Police Department, said they were seeing underage drinking and out-of-hand parties in years past, so the city council implemented new fines and policies for the weekend and the university held its own events to draw people away from parties.

“We issued very few citations over the weekend, only three,” Walters said. “That doesn’t mean that there weren’t a lot of parties that had gotten too big. We gave a lot of warnings, or we stopped by a house party and let them know that it had clearly gotten out of control.”

Walters said signs of a nuisance party include underage drinking, people throwing trash and people being overly intoxicated. He also said if students notify the police themselves about their party becoming out of hand, they will most likely face no penalty.

As far as the effectiveness of the new policies, Walters said that the parking situation was much improved. He said that, in the previous year, there were streets that firetrucks and ambulances could not get to, which put students in danger.

“If I could speak to one of the successes, it’s definitely that we got the word out about parking, and people were using the designated spots such as Hilton instead of clogging the roadways,” Daniels said.

While the police patrolled the neighborhoods, Iowa State held events on campus that were free for students. Friday night, there was a cookout. Saturday there was a pancake breakfast, goat calisthenics, yard games and more. ISU Police Chief Michael Newton said the sanctioned events had good turnouts and kept students away from dangerous activities.

“We saw a number of students participate in those events, which is what we’d like the tradition to continue to be,” Newton said.

Newton also said a big problem with 801 day is the people who come from out of town for the weekend.

“A lot of these behaviors are from people who are coming from out of town who have no pride in our community,” Newton said. “They’re not Cyclones; they don’t care what happens because they’re leaving here.”

While students refer to the Saturday before classes as 801 day, the university and the police avoid that word and refer to the weekend as Welcome Weekend.

“It’s Cyclone Welcome Weekend,” Newton said. “That’s what it is. There’s no such thing as 801 day.”

Walters said it would be up to the city council whether or not these policies are used on next year’s 801 day but said the police would recommend it.

“We expect people to celebrate,” Walters said. “We know people are gonna have a good time. We know that. We just want to make sure we’re responsible about it and we don’t get any people hurt.”