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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Police, students prepare for upcoming Mifflin Street Block Party

The Madison Police Department and Mifflin residents are preparing for the annual Mifflin Block Party following notices and threats of the event being canceled.

The Madison Police Department is getting ready for the annual Mifflin Street Block Party set to take place on Saturday. 

The Mifflin Street Block Party, referred to as “Mifflin” by students, is held annually on the last Saturday of April as a celebration before final exams. The party is not sanctioned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison or MPD. 

There are expected to be more than 10,000 people to attend Mifflin this year, according to MPD. The event has a history of noise complaints, overcrowding and property damage

On April 9, Instagram account @wiscochicks posted a notice Mifflin Street residents received from MPD warning residents that failure to maintain control of their residence may result in “liability for the actions of others on your property.”

Additionally, MPD said they will “strictly enforce” ordinances of underage drinking, procuring alcohol, dispensing alcohol, open intoxication on public streets and unreasonable noise, according to the post.

MPD Central District Captain Michael Hanson said there will be no significant changes this year compared to past Mifflin parties, despite calling for an end to Mifflin at an April 2023 press conference

Hanson told The Daily Cardinal that MPD will not push to end the block party and said “there is momentum to build the Mifflin event into something better.”

“It is more practical to build momentum on evolving Mifflin into something bigger and better.  There are ideas out there for community service, game days, competitions between dorms, frats and sororities to make this day safe and more inclusive,” Hanson said. “The evolution of this, to something with meaning, service and experience should come more organically from the students.” 

UW-Madison student and District 8 Ald. MGR Govindarajan said his main priority for the upcoming event is ensuring the safety of all attendees.

“[The safety precautions] will be the same as last year,” Govindarajan said. “Students will see a fair amount of police present and horses.” 

Students who live on Mifflin are also preparing for the upcoming event. Landlords are inspecting their properties before and after the event to ensure there is no damage to houses, according to UW-Madison junior Maddie Patton. 

Patton told the Cardinal her household is preparing for Mifflin by putting all valuables away and limiting their guests to people they know. Their landlord also requested they remove anything from their balconies besides outdoor furniture. 

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“Our landlord gave police permission to enter our apartment if there are too many people on the balcony or if we’re too loud, at which point they can ID anyone who looks under 21,” Patton said. 

Hanson said the biggest challenge MPD experiences is the large volume of underage drinkers and the overconsumption of alcohol. 

“As the consumption of alcohol continues through the day, we know we will see disturbances, property damage, arrests of partygoers and some forms of assaults,” Hanson said. “Many people go to this unsanctioned event desiring a great time, but as the alcohol is consumed, choices are made that have consequences they never dreamed of prior to Mifflin.” 

Although the Madison Common Council doesn’t have a say in what happens with Mifflin, Govindarajan said he is determined to make sure that it does not come to an end. 

“My goal is to ensure that the event stays while being as safe as possible,” Govindarajan said. “I encourage students to stay close to their friends and be aware of their surroundings.” 

MPD warned residents to take precautions to preserve their homes, including limiting the number of people on their property, locking exterior doors, securing valuables inside and notifying police immediately if assistance is needed.

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