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Former festival dies down: One student arrested, no trips to E.R.

Olivia Koester, Staff Writer
May 9, 2013 • 2,305 views

Despite the cancellation of Lutefest, the St. Olaf administration, with the Student Government Association (SGA) president and vice president, made provisions for extra security on May 4, the first Saturday in May, when SGA traditionally hosts Lutefest.

This year, no students required an ambulance ride for alcohol poisoning, one report of vandalism came in to administration and the Northfield Police Department arrested and cited one student with disorderly conduct.

Max Collyard ’13, organizer of the unrealized Zootefest event, was arrested and suspended from St. Olaf around 8 p.m. on May 4 outside of Buntrock Commons.

Collyard intended to film a Harlem Shake video in Stav Hall on May 4, promoting his plan on the Zootefest Facebook page and asking students to assemble at 7 p.m.

Four security guards from RS Executive Protection were on duty in Stav Hall during both lunch and dinner. Collyard, wearing a bright green motorcycle helmet and walking from table to table interacting with students, attracted their attention, according to a copy of the Public Safety report obtained by the Manitou Messenger.

RS Executive Protection called Public Safety, who reported to Stav Hall and questioned Collyard, according to the report.

After learning that Collyard planned to film a video, Officer James Golden told Collyard that he could not film the video inside Stav Hall on Saturday. Golden told Collyard that he would be permitted to film the video outside or in the cafeteria on any other day, according to the report.

When questioned by Collyard, Golden added that “with his behavioral history and recent protesting of Lutefest, along with his recent attempted organizing of Zootefest, no unplanned activity was going to be allowed in Stav Hall [on May 4],” the report states.

On Lutefest last year, Collyard was also removed from the cafeteria after yelling at someone for an extended period of time and hugging the person, Collyard said.

Golden wrote in the report that Collyard returned to Stav Hall and appeared to be filming on a camera or phone, addressing the student body. Golden attempted to contact Dean of Students Rosalyn Eaton-Neeb ’87 and questioned Public Safety Capts. Pamela Hoffman and Chad Christiansen about whether Collyard should be removed from Stav Hall.

The Public Safety officials’ accounts vary as to when Collyard was asked to leave the cafeteria. Hoffman states that Golden asked Collyard to leave in their initial conversation, and Golden says that he asked Collyard to speak with him outside the cafeteria but did not tell him to leave until Collyard was in possession of a backpack.

Hoffman suggested that because so many students were present, removing Collyard might “escalate the situation needlessly,” the report states, but she became concerned as he moved from table to table, as “his body language indicated . . . that he was perhaps trying to start a food fight, but was not wanting to be the person who made the first move.”

Christiansen called Vice President of Student Life Greg Kneser, who “wanted Collyard removed immediately, trespassed [escorted off the premises] and police to respond and arrest Collyard if necessary,” according to the report.

Upon noticing Collyard with a backpack, Golden asked him to leave the cafeteria immediately, to which Collyard said he “would leave in five minutes,” the report states.

In an interview on Tuesday, Collyard said that he told Golden he would be just a second and went to tell his friends that he was being asked to leave so that they would not become upset and question his absence.

Collyard left the cafeteria and was directed to the northern doors on the first level of Buntrock by Officer Lucas Wheelock.

Both Collyard and the report confirm that he was walking extremely slowly as he moved toward the building’s exit.

Collyard appeared to make a phone call when he reached the first level of Buntrock, at which point Hoffman asked him to stop near the old information desk to answer some questions. Collyard initially ignored her and then said, with officers instructing him both to leave the building and to stop, he did not know which directives to heed, the report states. In addition, Golden tried to trespass Collyard, but he “would not cooperate.”

Collyard did not comply with Hoffman’s requests, even after she informed him that she was the supervisor of all other officers at the scene, according to the report. Collyard, asking for privacy with his mother on the phone, moved into the vestibule between the two sets of doors that comprise the northern entrance to Buntrock Commons.

Northfield Police Officer Thaddeus Monroe entered Buntrock Commons and told Collyard to stay put when he attempted to re-enter the building, according to a report from the Northfield Police Department. When Collyard physically tried to push past Monroe, the officer pushed him into the wall and his helmet to the floor, according to the report.

In an interview on Wednesday, Collyard said that he does not believe he touched the officer and that physical force was not necessary.

According to the police report, Collyard, still talking on the phone, resisted when Monroe attempted to handcuff him.

After communicating with Public Safety, Kneser and President David Anderson ’74 arrived at the scene, the Public Safety report states.

Kneser suspended Collyard, saying that if he returned to campus for any reason while suspended, he would be arrested for trespassing, according to the Northfield Police Report. Kneser and Anderson asked for additional Public Safety and police patrols on St. Olaf Avenue, especially near their houses as well as Eaton-Neeb’s “out of concern of student retaliation,” according to the Public Safety report.

Kneser would not comment on Collyard’s arrest.

At the station, according to the police report, Collyard’s breathalyzer registered a .096 blood alcohol content.

Collyard was cited with disorderly conduct and failure or refusal of police officer lawful order. He was released that evening.

On Monday, Collyard’s full suspension was lifted.  Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Pamela McDowell placed Collyard on a co-curricular suspension, allowing him on campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for class and work-study commitments, as well as rehearsals for and a performance in the Quade One Act Festival.

Collyard plans to appeal his suspension.

McDowell said that, on average, six to seven students are placed on co-curricular suspension each year, usually because the student causes a “disruption to the community” in some way.

On the whole, McDowell, Kneser and Director of Student Activities Kris Vatter found Saturday to be relatively quiet.

“I’m glad nobody was physically harmed,” Kneser said. “I understand some people were annoyed with [the additional security], but we actually got more positive comments on it. I’m glad we did it.”

When Lutefest was cancelled, some students contacted the Student Life office with concerns that the first Saturday in May would be “chaotic,” McDowell said.

These concerns, coupled with negative comments on the St. Olaf Confessions and Zootefest Facebook pages, prompted security measures, including the presence of RS Executive Protection, extra rounds made by Residence Life staff and locked dorms, accessible only with an ID from Friday evening to Sunday.

“There seemed to be a certain amount of people that were planning to be disruptive,” Vatter said.

Security is brought in whenever the College “anticipate[s] needing some extra help,” roughly once each month, though this is the only day when security guards are stationed in Stav Hall, Vatter said. Security is contracted for every Pause dance.

The sole incidence of vandalism was a “vulgar” sentiment written on a wall in Ellingson sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, but “on any given weekend, that happens – a water fountain is broken or furniture is displaced or something is written on a wall,” McDowell said.

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