This past Sunday was Apr. 20, a day commonly known by many as a cannabis culture holiday. Over the years, Santa Cruz has become a popular destination for many people looking to celebrate “4/20.” Last year, over 5,000 people arrived at UC Santa Cruz to smoke marijuana on campus at Porter Meadow.
In anticipation of the event, UCSC officials increased security this year. The campus restricted the number of outsiders and non-UCSC students from entering campus. Other security measures included requiring all vehicles entering campus to have a university parking permit for the weekend, requiring UCSC identification to gain entrance and not allowing overnight guests for students living on campus.
While some may see the university’s actions as infringements on personal liberties, the reasoning is understandable. Having thousands of non-students on campus poses a higher risk of incidents not only for those participating in the event, but also for others who are not. Visitors who may not feel connected to the campus community are more likely to cause disturbance than those who are part of the university. The safety of the students is on the forefront of the administration’s mind, as it always should be.
In addition, UC Santa Cruz had to take its own precautions in regard to campus liability issues. With so many non-UCSC students on campus, the university could have been held accountable if something serious were to happen. From the standpoint of UCSC officials, it was understandably necessary to be taking such serious measures.
While the university has outwardly condoned the event, they do not deny its existence. Rather than looking the other way and ignoring it, officials anticipated it and appropriately responded. While security was heightened, the actual police presence did not increase. The priority was not cracking down on the event, but controlling it and putting the university in more control of the safety of participants. Initial reports accounted for less people on campus than last year and no serious incidents.