Security crackdown at Syracuse University for Mayfest

Syracuse University students celebrate Mayfest in Walnut Park.

Thousands of students were out enjoying the warmer weather at Syracuse University's Mayfest, ahead of final exams beginning next week.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Syracuse University implemented an additional security precaution at Mayfest - no backpacks. Previously, students were allowed to leave backpacks in a designated area, but the policy has now been modified to exclude all backpacks from the event. The policy is receiving mixed reviews from students.

"I had a purse, and they told me that my purse was too large, so I had to go and drop it off," said Jenna Cottrell, who lives in Kappa Alpha Theta on Walnut Place. 'It's difficult to see where they cross the line with 'That's a backpack,' or 'That's a purse.'"

"I mean, it's good," said Will Shepard. "I understand what's going on. I think it's awesome security. Syracuse is a great place."

Mayfest security included a comprehensive plan between Syracuse Police and Syracuse University's Department of Public Safety. Several fraternity and sorority houses on Walnut Place, next to Mayfest, hired private security to make sure students not living in the homes did not come in.

The increased security, and creation of Mayfest, comes in response to off-campus partying on Euclid Avenue. Both city and campus police were present on Euclid Avenue on Friday, but the area is now seeing less partying because of Mayfest.

"We're seeing a lot less activity on Euclid Avenue and more of the students actually coming over to Walnut Park to have a good time," said Tony Callisto, Chief of Public Safety. "And that has actually reduced the call volume that we might have expected in the past."

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