Endless groups of students trekked back and forth from the apartments to the townhouses as the cold night air settled in from an unusually warm afternoon.

Students were shouting with laughter as they made their way to parties, relieving stress from the week and looking to create lifelong memories with their friends. After all, it was Saturday night.

This was the scene on campus last weekend, where students embarked on fun filled adventures while public safety officers began preparing for their shifts.

But before students swarmed the campus that night looking for fun, Public Safety Officer  Paul Amarante had already seen a handful of situations.

His radio crackled consistently as he checked on what other officers were reporting from the other side of campus. Amarante radioed back sporadically. Informing his team of the activity all around him. There was none.

All clear for now.

A car on campus was stolen earlier in the afternoon, Amarante said, only to be determined a prank. The car reported missing was moved to a different parking lot and the suspect had been located, he said. That was just the beginning.

A few hours later he came across a car traveling in the wrong direction down a road in the Townhouses. After determining that alcohol wasn’t involved in the situation, Amarante recorded the driver’s information and let the vehicle go.

In some instances, depending on the severity of the situation, Amarante makes a “judgment call” in clearing out a Townhouses party, documenting students, or in this case ticketing a driver who violates a traffic law.

That same vehicle, Amarante reported, was stopped later in the evening and the students who were discovered to be minors were documented for alcohol possession.

Amarante previously worked in corrections for 20 years before making the transition as one of Fairfield’s public safety officers. He’s already encountered various unsafe situations from students since he first started last year.

Last semester alone, he said seven students living in Regis Hall were transported to the hospital for alcohol intoxication. Amarante also said he has seen students lying on the side of the road, passed out because of alcohol intoxication.

After circling the townhouses a few times and watching underclassman come up from the dorms, it became apparent that Saturday night was toga night. they were somewhat stumbling. Everyone was laughing in their giant friend groups. After observing how the students were dressed.

Amarante contacted his sergeant and said, “I think it’s toga night at the Townhouses.”

While on patrol, he rolled his window down attempting to overhear student interactions and conversations, trying to pinpoint the direction they are headed.

On the weekends, public safety officer shifts are split from 4 p.m. to midnight and then new officers come in for relief and stay until 8 a.m. said Amarante.

Not all shifts are the same, he explained, depending on what events are happening on campus, and how many officers are working. “You can never have enough officers on duty when you’re busy,” he said.

Amarante said he enjoys being a public safety officer and interacting with the students, but his main concern is safety. Sometimes decisions have to be made like documenting students in a party or sending someone to the hospital for alcohol intoxication.

“It’s busy,” Amarante said. “But having been in the business, time flies and you deal with it. You don’t want to see anyone getting hurt.”

Nevertheless, while students set out for alcohol-induced adventures on the weekends, public safety gears up to ensure all of the fun is had responsibly and safely.

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