College Beach Weekend 2018 kicks off in Virginia Beach


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — College Beach Weekend is here and tens of thousands of students are getting ready to converge in Virginia Beach. 

“I heard it’s the funnest party in the south,” said Jordan Charles, who came from New York. 

Charles and his friends said it’s their first time at College Beach Weekend and are excited to enjoy. 
“We’re here to have fun and be safe at the same time. We’ve been planning this for a month,” said Benjamin William.

And law enforcement has been planning for this weekend even longer 
Multiple patrols were spotted along the Oceanfront, and so were command stations. 

Even hotels are stepping up security. 
“Now at the hotel, you have to have a wristband to be able to come in and out,” said Stanley Coby, who is returning for a second year. 
10 On Your Side spoke with some of those hotels off camera. 
They told us guests will receive wristbands at check-in. They will also have employees watch doors and garages. 
Locals are also stepping up to help. 
The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission will have volunteers work as independent observers over the weekend. 
Former city councilwoman, Louisa Strayhorn, will be down there with other members of the Visions Oceanfront Task Force. 
The group conducted a year-long assessment on the effects of College Beach Weekend and came up with ways to help crowd control and decrease crime. 
Strayhorn said she did similar observations while serving on council. 
“This time, I felt like it was important to me that if we went   Through the trouble of doing the report, I could at least come out here and observe what is happening,” she said. 
Strayhorn hopes their presence can make guests feel welcome and can help spot behavior that might be discriminatory. 

She believes that College Beach Weekend could become a positive event if the city capitalized on it by taking into consideration the recommendations the task force submitted, like having planned events so visitors could have something to participate in. 
“What we don’t want to happen is for any citizen or anyone coming in who doesn’t feel welcomed. I think we need to be welcoming to anybody. But we need to have good behavior. I hope we have both of those this weekend, she said. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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