W.I.L.D. to feature increased security

| News Editor

Despite the Students Against Peabody sit-in under the Brookings Archway providing the backdrop to one of Washington University’s largest events, Social Programming Board and the Washington University Police Department expect Friday’s W.I.L.D. to proceed as planned.

The activist group has been involved in negotiations with University administrators for several days, and both groups have issued statements about their opinions on the issue.

But the biannual concert, featuring Childish Gambino and Washington University alumnus 3LAU, will overlap with the sit-in because Brookings Archway serves as one of the two entrances for W.I.L.D., and the students at the sit-in have no plans to leave.

Social Programming Board president Jordan Finkelstein noted that WUPD would likely be taking full control of security for W.I.L.D., alongside B&D Security.

“We’re just a student group putting on a concert,” Finkelstein said. “We work very closely with WUPD on our security plans, so as the protesters kind of fall under security with their current location in one of our entrances, WUPD is going to be handling that and coming up with a solution.”

WUPD Chief Don Strom noted that he is confident that Students Against Peabody will be cooperative and that security should be up to standards. In general, he is hopeful that the security will help to reduce alcohol-related emergencies and violence.

“There will be a large police presence. Largely a lot of that is to ensure that the people who go there are in a safe position to be there in the first place. Pre-partying is an issue and we want to evaluate that people are safe…Everyone works together to help ensure it’s a safe event. We can quickly remind people that the real reason isn’t about alcohol; it’s about the entertainment,” Strom said.

JJ Linn, SPB’s W.I.L.D. director, said that he was very excited for Friday’s event and hopes that the increased safety measures will be well received.

“We’ve had past complaints about entrances and about the layout of [Brookings Quadrangle]. So this year we’re going to do a slightly changed, abbreviated version that we’re going to be sending out to the student public so that everyone will be informed about where the drinks are, where the food is, where the bathrooms are, where [the Emergency Support Team] and the EMT[s] will be,” Linn said. “Hopefully this better communication—better information—will just help people who are sick or need to find WUPD ahead of time.”

Linn noted that a few new elements should prove to make this W.I.L.D. different from others.

“It’s really going to stand out from past W.I.L.D.s. There will be elements that are safer, more exciting; people will have a general wow factor about this W.I.L.D. instead of just the typical W.I.L.D. There’s going to be a lot of parts that people are going to be amazed by,” Linn said.

Linn and Finkelstein noted that student opinion was one of the deciding factors in adding 3LAU to Friday’s lineup.

“We were trying to offer diversity in the set list,” Linn said. “That’s why I think the combination of [electronic dance] music combined with rap would offer different avenues to people. Those reflected the attitudes we saw in the surveys, with Gambino as one choice and Krewella, which we also consider to be EDM, near the top. We’re just trying to appeal to different tastes…unfortunately, we can’t satisfy everyone.”

According to Finkelstein and Linn, surveys like the one that was sent out earlier in the year to help SPB decide on artists for spring W.I.L.D. will be a big part of the organization in the future.

“We value student feedback more than anything else because our job as SPB is to provide programming for students, so having as much student input is the best thing we could do for the University. We are hoping to do another survey for fall W.I.L.D…we’re not sure when that’ll happen, but we’re hoping to get as much feedback, whether it’s through surveys or polls or outreach—just as much as we can to make our events that much better,” Linn said.

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