Campus, city prepares students for Oktoberfest - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Campus, city prepares students for Oktoberfest

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is implementing new safety precautions for this year's Oktoberfest.            

Students living on campus will not be allowed to host guest on Oktoberfest weekends, according to Chancellor Joe Gow.

The university will hire people to monitor who enters and exits the dorms, and the entrances to residence halls will be locked from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon.

This means all residents must have a key to enter the building.

"Oktoberfest is a time when there's potential for rowdy behavior and certainly that's happened in the past," Gow said. "We want to try to do all we can to prevent that. I don't know that the changes we're going to make will be able to fix everything, but certainly they're a step in the right direction, we think."

The rules for Oktoberfest weekend are not entirely new, Gow said.

The university restricted dorm guests some years before Gow became chancellor in 2007.

But landlords leasing apartments to student can't make the same rules as the university for the Oktoberfest weekends.

This year, UW-La Crosse junior Morgan Schrine will be attending Oktoberfest for the third time.

"It's crazy," Schrine said. "I went to the Oktoberfest ground with my parents and it was nuts and that was in the afternoon and then I went with my friends a little bit later and oh, it was just bonkers downtown. It was just nuts."

Schrine said she sees the festival as one full of beer and insanity.

"It was just crazy just walking downtown and just like looking at everything that was going on. It was just crazy," she said. "There's people everywhere, literally everywhere. There's people on all the balconies, all the porches just drinking away, just shouting, yelling, playing drinking games on the lawn."

Oktoberfest brings hundreds of thousands of people into downtown La Crosse.

For some college students, it turned into a drinking fest which brings out all kinds of behaviors.

Last year some people were even throwing around a dead squirrel.

"There's just lots of people yelling at both side of the street. I think things were being thrown," said UW-La Crosse senior Drew Trebino.

Trebino saw last year's events unfold.

To make sure it doesn't happen again, police are putting out fliers in the campus community. They warn people to be respectful of neighbors and property, and not to serve to minors.

Some campus landlords said they're also drafting up letters and sending them out to the campus community.

These incidents should not detract from the positive aspects of Oktoberfest, but law enforcement is making sure they do what they can to make sure everyone is safe next weekend.

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