There is only one event in southwestern Virginia that can bring police from multiple counties, dozens of EMS vehicles, and the National Guard out in full force, Quadfest. Even the heavy rains did not stop RU students and visitors from carrying on the tradition.
Originally the event was a weekend long celebration held on “Moffet Quad” part of Radford University’s campus. The university as a celebration sponsored Quadfest for the students. After the amount of alcohol related problems rose, and RU’s campus became a “dry” or “alcohol free” campus, the event was cancelled by RU in 2006. The students living off campus decided to keep the tradition alive and the event was moved to the areas surrounding the campus, “lightside” and “darkside”
RU no longer monitored the event so “Quadfest” grew, consuming most of “darkside” and “lightside”. In past years, the event has become legendary, even earning a spot on the website “Urban Dictionary” (a source of slang-like definitions for a variety of words and events). With over 200 officers around the campus, and hundreds of party-goers, Quadfest has earned it’s place among the ranks of largest parties. Some feel that the police presence is necessary, but have some doubts. “I feel the law enforcement presence was a little excessive. I saw many police officers traveling in packs right behind each other and I know that is not necessary,” said RU senior Karisa Loy.
This year the event was help the weekend of April 19-22, 2012. The all-day all-night party weekend brought many visitors to Radford, some of which might have regretted their choice to visit after getting arrested and spending the night in the “drunk tank” or city jail. “Most of the people that were out participating weren’t even from Radford University, they were from other colleges and even high schools,” said RU junior Alison Rife. Although the Radford City Police declined to comment on the number of arrests from the weekend, there were many witnesses to arrests taking place. Senior Missy Geiger felt that police might have arrested some partygoers prematurely. “The ones I did see only one of the arrestees needed to be arrested the other times the cop was definitely just trying to set an example. I watched the cops pull over two delivery drivers and ticket them,” said Geiger.
James Madison University cancelled their “Springfest” which rivals Quadfest as the “college party of the year” in Virginia due to complications last spring. Just as Radford was filled with visitors, law enforcement was able to focus on only one “epic party”.
Not only were houses and apartments off- campus filled with partygoers, the streets were as well. Rife and Loy were among two of the members of the RU community who had to carefully make their way through the streets filled with party-goers just to get to work. “It took me 15 minutes to make a drive that usually takes me 2 minutes. Cops had many of the streets blocked off,” said Rife.
The date for Quadfest this coming year has not been released, but it is likely to be the weekend before the last week of classes during the Spring 2013 semester.