How the Picnic Day pledge and agreements with downtown businesses promote safe fun
This week, the UC Davis campus celebrates the 105th Picnic Day, a tradition that has been ongoing since the university was first established in 1908. Each year the event is filled with numerous activities for students, families, alumni and faculty to enjoy. Although Picnic Day is officially known as the university’s open house, it is also widely known by students to be Davis’ biggest party day of the year.
On March 28, 2019 the entire UC Davis student body received an email regarding this year’s Picnic Day celebrations as well as tips and tricks to stay safe during this eventful time of year. The email contained a Picnic Day pledge, which urges students to make responsible choices during the festivities and uphold a welcoming environment for all students and visitors.
Third-year statistics major Nicole Deacon is the current vice chair for the Picnic Day. As Vice Chair, Deacon works alongside 13 other directors throughout the year to coordinate Picnic Day events with the help of campus departments and administration as well as the ASUCD Executive Office to ensure a fun and safe environment for students and visitors.
“Every year, there is a safety enhancement zone surrounding a large area north of campus,” Deacon said. “In this area, fines for various violations related to drinking are doubled to further discourage illegal and unsafe actions. We also work with both [the] UC Davis Police and the City of Davis Police Department to maintain safety off campus. We also work with the Davis Alcohol and Other Drug Advisory Group (DAODAG) that is part of Student Health and Counseling Services in promoting safe party tips and programs for students.”
In the past, students have been given citations by the Davis Police department for urinating in public, being generally noisy, having open containers of alcohol and smoking in public. Deacon explained how the safety of the event has changed over the past couple of years.
“There has been a larger effort to control the off-campus party scene over the past few years,” Deacon said. “One of the big issues in the past has been in downtown because bars used to have a variety of promotions on drinks that encouraged heavy drinking. A few years ago, an agreement was reached to end these Picnic Day specials. Since then, the violations downtown have very dramatically decreased.”
For those who plan on hosting their own Picnic Day party, the board of directors for the event have come up with a few tips and tricks to ensure that party throwers and goers have a fun and safe time. Another resource that can be utilized is the safe party initiative which details the precautions one should take before and while drinking. As a reminder to all students, alcohol is prohibited on the UC Davis campus.
Written by: Sneha Ramachandran — firstname.lastname@example.org