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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

UC Davis celebrates centennial picnic day

On April 12, UC Davis will celebrate its centennial picnic day by bringing back loved events from past years and further expanding its safety zones into the City of Davis.

Long time Davis residents might remember that in the past, police have had issues with alcohol at Picnic Day.

There will be about 60 police officers on campus and the surrounding areas from CSU Sacramento, Los Rios Community College, UC Riverside, UC Irvine and USF to ensure the safety of all Picnic Day participants, according to UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael.

This year’s expanded safety zone will reach east of the UC Davis campus from First Street to the railroad tracks, and north of campus from Russell Boulevard to West Eighth Street and with Anderson Road bordering it on the west.

Citable violations in the safety zone will include general noise, urinating in public, open containers of alcohol and smoking violations, with an additional minimum noise citation of anywhere in Davis.

The safety zone was implemented a few years ago by the City of Davis to try and overcome what was becoming an excessive use of alcohol and to ensure a safe Picnic Day. Recently, police have seen an improvement, according to Carmichael.

“You have people from all over the country who want to come and enjoy the day,” Carmichael said. “It’s an amazing, longstanding tradition, and last year was very successful, so we want to continue that.”

In the last two years, ASUCD and the Greek system have stepped up and committed to safe partying practices, with leaders of Greek organizations even signing pledges to promote safety and responsibility on Picnic Day.

Carmichael wants to emphasize the importance of being responsible, and to point out to students that they’re not going to get in trouble for helping someone in need, whether they’re suffering from alcohol poisoning or something else entirely.

“We need the community and the student community to come through like they did last year,” Carmichael said. “We turned a corner a year or so back, and it’s all about members of our community.”

In the past, some of the biggest arrests and violations have been open containers, urinating in public and being drunk in public, according to Carmichael, although he mentioned that the increased amount of portapotties on campus has had a big impact on decreasing the amount of violations for urinating in public.

“People need to look out for one another. If you see anything suspicious, stop an officer and let them know,” Carmichael said. “I’d rather risk attending to something that wasn’t a big deal than missing something.”

Since this will be Picnic Day’s centennial celebration, efforts are being made by its directors to bring back some of the best events from Picnic Day’s past.

Shield’s Library will have an open house showcasing photos and other pieces of history, and an event from 50 years ago in which guests can guess the weight of a pig for the prize of a ham will be brought back.

“It’s very quirky,” said Dustin Li, this year’s Picnic Day publicity director and a second-environmental science and management major.

Li recommends that students make an effort this year to go to the smaller attractions that they may have never heard of.

“They’re really amazing, and a lot of planning has gone into everything,” Li said.

TAYLOR CUNNINGHAM can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

 

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