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South Haven

DOGL Shut Down, K Evicted from South Haven Beach

DOGL festivities ended this afternoon as police evicted K students from South Haven’s South Beach.

Sergeant Kyle Griffith from the South Haven Police Department told The Index that the beach activities were “out of control.”

“There was a massive use of alcohol. That’s not allowed—it’s posted everywhere, and impossible to get to the beach without seeing that.”

Sergeant Griffith gestured toward the south side of the beach. “See all of those containers in the sand? Those are empty alcohol containers. It’s not tolerated.”

“Those who were disturbing the peace—fighting—have been arrested,” Sergeant Griffith said.

Assisting South Haven police were law enforcement officers from Covert Township, Van Buren County, Berrien County, and Michigan State Police.

Sergeant Griffith mentioned that he had been in contact “with [our] Dean.” Sergeant Griffith mentioned “consequences” but exact details remain unclear.

Students promptly left the beach, but many were confused about why the police were directing K students off of the beach.

Many students expressed their dissatisfaction with how the police handled the situation.

“I’m frustrated because I wasn’t involved in either the fighting or drinking, and yet I was told to leave simply because I’m from K,” shared Blair Garner K’19.

85 Comments on DOGL Shut Down, K Evicted from South Haven Beach

  1. I definitely agree with Blair on this, I don’t understand why all K students were asked to leave because some were violating rules. The beach is public, and I think it was an overstep to ask people who were not breaking rules to leave. Also I’m saddened about how this disappointment will impact the future of DOGL. I suspect next year many people will choose to go to different beaches, which will reduce the community aspect of the fun at the beach.

    • Bob Behrman // May 18, 2017 at 2:49 PM // Reply

      We in South Haven sure hope they go to a different beach next year! They all should have received open container citations and those that were minors should have been issued minor in possesses tickets as well. Us citizens in South Haven will soon insist on a zero toletance policy for these type of infractions on our beach. You are warned.

      • You sound like a swell guy Bob. Hope to see you enforcing the laws next year!

      • Ron Bensen // May 18, 2017 at 7:34 PM // Reply

        Sound really tough bob. Simmer down and allow kids to have fun

      • Moon Mongrel // May 20, 2017 at 3:38 PM // Reply

        Bob, how old are you?

      • Sivhaun everyone from k was asked to leave as it would be difficult to know who brought the alcohol…and who was breaking rules….just because you want it your way doesn’t mean a thing. The safety of children is more important than drunk people. The End.

    • When I was at K there were no buses to South Haven. Students carpooled there, some went to different beaches, and others stayed on campus. DOGL will be just fine even if everyone doesn’t go to South Haven.

    • Even though the K students can be a bit of a nuisance on the beach, we usually go on a day when many others would not, so they don’t cause too much distraction. A lot of us try very
      hard to be considerate of the townspeople. We also bring a lot of money into South Haven–hundreds of hungry college students usually fill the restaurants. South Haven should try to keep DOGL in their city, and although it is reasonable to punish those causing trouble, the majority of K students do not.

    • You don’t understand?? Haven’t you ever heard of how a few can ruin it for many?

  2. Students or not, these are young adults who should not have been behaving this way. South Haven beaches may be public but the rules apply to everyone who is part of that group. If your friends are planning on breaking the rules, you should stop them. If not, be prepared to pay the price with them. The police were right to kick them all out, because no student who wasn’t directly identified breaking the rules will own up to it. Lesson: Stop being idiots on the beaches and whining about it when you get in trouble.

  3. Zara Kingma // May 17, 2017 at 10:17 PM // Reply

    Absolutely ridiculous that someone would write such a foolish comment. Threatening no less. If K students can’t represent their group better then this… THAT’S ON THEM. If SHHS acted this way on SoHA beaches our students would all have been asked to leave the beach. If this type of behavior, represented today by K group is what they have to offer, then take your group activities to another a beach… no one here is concerned with threats like that. Typical entitlement behavior. Pathetic.

  4. Ummm sorry that most students that was not involved in the fighting or drinking were told to leave the beach. But for those students that was told to leave due to the fact of what other students were doing wrong you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. For our community and Southhaven are police are looking out for everyone’s best interest. The beach is for family and friends to have fun and to spend the time and are great community. But when incidents like this happens don’t come complaining when they do their job. Next time disassociate yourself from the bad and just maybe this won’t happen again. After what happened on Fourth of July of 2016 our community and our officers will not tolerate this from happening again. Thank you for all of the officers that did appropriately handle the situation.

    • Good points, but PLEASE work on your grammar. Otherwise people won’t take you seriously.

    • I agree if they wanna drink and enjoy the summer they need to go to a party hall. Not a public beach. And if they want fireworks and alcohol. They can light their own.at their own place. Or watch the fireworks somewhere private at a friend’s or someone else’s place like a relatives. Not the public beach.

  5. I agree with James. I’m tired of people coming to our town, getting drunk, leaving trash everywhere, getting violent, and drunks almost falling on babies (yes, that happened!). Tired of it!!! Go somewhere else and I really hope SH’s 4th of July festivities cease as well.

  6. I completely agree with the police in this case, the students were openly drinking at a public beach, even though not everyone was drinking, you were still complicit in an unlawful act. In basic terms I if you don’t understand that, you knew they were breaking a law, sand you didn’t stop it. It’s not the police’s fault, you (the students) are all at fault.
    Have a nice day.

    • You clearly don’t know how the law works.

      • Steve explain further. Lol. Public drinking is illegal unless it’s done at a bar.Steve He knows the law. You do not steve.

    • I remember when I didn’t understand what “unlawful” meant.

    • Ok so by your logic when that one guy shows up with a cooler full of beer in prohibited glass containers and decides to park it next to a family having a day at the beach they should all be arrested for being complicit in the act they had nothing to do with?

  7. Pathetic. Way to represent your school. South haven does not need or want this type of group here. If your GROUP can’t follow the rules, your GROUP will be forced to leave. Please feel free to find a different venue next year, you will not be missed.

    • I think the problem here that you put so neatly is this idea of the GROUP. It’s not like 500 k students showed up each with coolers of beer and ready to rumble. We’re talking like 10-15 students tops who decided to get together and go too far. Should they have been stopped/kicked out? Absolutely. Should the entire beach have been evacuated by K-9 units and tasers? For a police department with seemingly nothing better to do they picked a pretty lazy way of go about enforcement.

      • Tazzers and dogs is a bit far I agree…the south haven police are idiots…I would know I live around the area…they are idiots…but only the k students should have been asked to leave…but I think it would be a little difficult to tell who belonged to that k group.

  8. Its a shame that many local families refuse to enjoy their hometown beaches because of all the riff raff that come crawling out of the woodwork when its finally nice out. Grow TF up and respect the property and laws of our town or front come. Its pretty easy to follow the rules. We partied don’t get me wrong, but we did it wout fighting and destroying the beach.

  9. Its a shame that many local families refuse to enjoy their hometown beaches because of all the riff raff that come crawling out of the woodwork when its finally nice out. Grow TF up and respect the property and laws of our town or dont come. Its pretty easy to follow the rules. We partied don’t get me wrong, but we did it wout fighting and destroying the beach.

  10. I was present at the beach and saw what happened Blair. The police were very gracious as how they handled this situation.Most of you could have been arrested or ticketed. Take it as a lesson learned.

    • A K Student // May 17, 2017 at 11:23 PM // Reply

      I was with Blair. We were simply canoeing and quietly enjoying the sunshine on the northern side of the beach.
      I think her comment represents the what most K students are thinking after seeing what happened today. The police approached young-looking beachgoers who weren’t involved, asked if they were K, and if they answered yes, told them to leave. Wrong place, wrong time, and it’s too bad that this was ruined by some irresponsible students.

  11. No the police were not gracious. I arrived exactly when everyone was being kicked out, and the police were using illegal and actually offensive behavior. They searched people they had no right to search. I saw them scream at a young woman and then dump out her water (yes water) and tell her to get out. This was not handled in a calm or frankly acceptable manner. And also everyone saying that K kids are only entitled and that’s the only reason, maybe think about the people who live in your privileged community and what kinds of luxuries you enjoy before pointing finger at kids, most of whom didn’t do anything to harm you or your community.

  12. Also if you weren’t involved in the situation, around it, or directly affected by it you have absolutely no business commenting on this post at all.

    • Em, it might be helpful if you clarified this – who, exactly, is allowed to voice their opinion/thoughts here, and why. As a parent who visits that beach with small children occasionally, do I qualify? (Or would I have to have been there yesterday?) Do I qualify as an alum? Does the fact that some of the K group were kids I know personally and care about qualify me to voice a comment? Or is there a special friend-group they, or I, would need to be part of?

  13. Hey, Em. South Haven’s free and reduced school lunch program serves almost half of its student body. Not exactly a “privileged” community.

    • Bob Behrman // May 18, 2017 at 2:56 PM // Reply

      Exactly, thank you Chris.

      • And Kalamazoo Public Schools free lunch program feeds around 87% of the student body. Regardless, we don’t need to bring these numbers into a discussion about college.

  14. For all the comments asking why they were All evicted, it’s called “guilt by association.” That is why I’ve always taught my kids that if something illegal is going on wherever you are, you’d better leave or you’re just as guilty as the ones doing it.

  15. I am glad the police are monitoring the beach and asking those who drink and fight to leave. Did most of these students arrive on that bus showed in the picture. I guess if the bus is leaving you better be on it. This is a country wide problem at beaches. People need to learn respect. Trash after holidays is terrible on Florida beaches as well. People need to grow up and pick up after themselves!

  16. If the behavior exhibited is acceptable to you EM, invite them all to your house for the next party.

    The beaches in South Haven are owned by the persons on the city taxroll, the City of South Haven Taxpayers. The taxpayers have shown via their elected officials that they want their property protected from the childish behavior exhibited by a large portion of those K students present. Through their elected officials they have said they won’t tolerate such flagrant violations of ordinance and civil decorum. If you can’t live by the rules in South Haven….don’t come here! PS I was present and directly involved

  17. I’ve observed this type of student conduct tolerated by the Kalamazoo College administration over many years so do expect any disciplinary ramifications to occur.

  18. Deborah Myers // May 18, 2017 at 11:57 AM // Reply

    While its to bad the non offenders were asked to leave. You were all part of this group. You should have discouraged your peers form drinking. Rules are rules. And those of us who live here and pay the property tax do not appreciate any one coming to OUR community and abusing our beaches and trashing our community. K students are not kids, you are adults. And Adults know better then to act this way. Not a good way to represent your college at all. If you opt for a different venue next year,more power to you. That’s your right. You dont have the right to trash up this community. The Police handled this situation exactly right. Making the entire group leave..

    • Shame on you // May 19, 2017 at 3:21 PM // Reply

      Adults also know the difference between “than” and “then”. Well, educated ones do.

  19. beaches be trippin // May 18, 2017 at 12:15 PM // Reply

    Editor’s note: This comment appears to have been posted from a umich.edu IP address, and so identity is questionable

    We will be back next year having a grand old time once again!! That’s what beaches are for and we are lucky to have such a great one in our backyard. Post all the negative comments you want, but let the music play and beverages flow!! Can’t wait for 2018!!!!

  20. To everyone claiming that the police were doing great work and commenting on the use of underaged drinking should be ashamed of themselves. The fact was that there was drinking at a public beach from kids that go to a college over 30minutes away. The police told everyone to leave and there was one one bus (the one pictured) to take EVERYONE back. There must have been people who were drunk that also drove back because they were told to “leave immediately or be arrested”. That is not okay. There should have been a better plan thought out to deal with the situation, period.

    • Hey Connor:

      While I did not post in support of the cops, I am ashamed nonetheless. Not because some of you may have your noses out of joint because of some perceived trampling of “your rights”, but because I graduated from K and prefer not to see its name in the media for trashing a beach and generally donkey-like behavior.

      1) Why the school sees fit to fund a bus to take you to the beach is beyond me. Having been present on campus for three days of gracious living (sophomore spring used to be for career development off campus), I seem to remember getting my own derriere to the beach and back without any assistance from the college, and, more importantly, without requiring police intervention.

      2) I think your “better plan” might involve folks driving themselves next year and perhaps behaving themselves better.

      As an undergrad I am quite sure that I consumed an adult beverage or three on the beach at South Haven on more than one occasion. My buddies and I were sufficiently discrete so as to avoid legal consequences.

      Sorry you had an introduction to group consequences – next time don’t make yourself part of an easily identifiable group with four members who required arrest. I represent juvenile delinquents in criminal proceedings every day. News flash – the legal process is not fair. “Fair” has nothing to do with the legal system. “Fair” is where you go to ride the rides, eat cotton candy, and step in monkey manure. If I had a buck for every defendant who said “It wasn’t me. It was the other guys I was with”, I would probably already have retired.

      Good luck with your education. K gives you an excellent undergrad education and hopefully you will benefit from it as my buddies and I have.

      Chris K’86

  21. Damn them kids and their carefree spirits

  22. J.D. Rockefeller Pt. 2 // May 18, 2017 at 4:19 PM // Reply

    Alright, South Haven. You can have it your way, but it will be at my price.

    When I make my first million, I’m going to start investing in South Haven’s beachfront property, and I’ll be a part of it’s cute little storefronts and quaint houses and all that good stuff. Up and down St. Joseph Street – all covered with my subtle fingerprints.

    When I make my first billion, I’m going to burn your little shantytown to the ground and salt the earth.

  23. Ok so I’m a K College student who was there yesterday and not drinking. While I do agree that the police had every right to kick us out and keep the beach safe which I’m all for. How the events leading up to it went down were completely wrong and irresponsible. I was taking a nap while basking in the sun and I was woken up by an officer who demanded to check my bag. Despite my protests that there was nothing in it(there wasn’t), they still threatened to kick me off of the beach if I didn’t consent to a search which is a violation of my Fourth Amendment rights. They also went through searching the bags of students who were not even at the beach of the time and dumping out all liquids from their bags(including water). On a hot beach day, this is dangerous and can lead to many things such as heat exhaustion or even heat stroke if not properly hydrated. Furthermore, some students were in town eating from local businesses when this happened and were not allowed to get their personal items until much later. While I do applaud the South Haven PD for taking the initiative, the process in how everything went down could have been handled in a much more calm and nonaggressive matter than what happened.

  24. There were actually two buses that showed up and a couple of vans.

  25. I am glad they stopped it, just a practice run for the July 4th weekend

  26. Regardless of the actions made by students, the police used unnecessary force. They hurled insults, foul language, and violence on the students. One of the officers had his tazer out. As students hurried to grab their things, officers pushed and shoved them. I agree with Em, unless you were present during this incident, you don’t know all of the facts. Also, many students were trying to clean up the beach. Most of the trash was caused by the officers. They were the ones throwing cans on the ground and littering. As students tried to return to clean the mess, they were told they would be arrested. Again, this tradition of going to South Haven has continued for 43 years. Well into the generations of many parents commenting. Maybe consider your own hypocrisy before commenting.

  27. Lol. Listen up. The only reason there was empty containers on the beach was because the police officers were dumping all visible alcohol out onto the sand and then dropping the containers there (rightfully so). Students were immediately forced off the beach. An officer said to my face as I was cleaning my friends area up that if I didn’t stop and head to the sidewalk immediately, I would be arrested. Guess what? I was sober, so don’t make excuses that I was drinking or drunk at the time. Also, students stayed after to pick up the mess when everything died down. After 43 years straight of honoring our “dogl”, we know how to pick up after ourselves. Furthermore, almost our entire campus is environment friendly so we are not slobs. In addressing the “disturbing the peace- fighting” as worded by your chief officer, everyone complied with the officers and student leaders were assisting the chaos in helping those find their belongings and make it back safe. You can say we were “rowdy” because there was loud music and drinking, but that’s all there was. The non-existent “fighting” that is mentioned could be mistaken for some sand wrestling, which is tradition and done in good fun. If you think that sounds violent then you are misinterpreting me. Let me explain the rules: 1 on 1 you have to push your opponent outside of a 5 foot radius circle. That is the only rule. Mind you, this occurred away from families and before the cops arrived. When the police arrived, the game ended and we did our best to comply (those that were potentially going to cause problems were handled by our student leaders so as to avoid further confrontation with the police). Last time I checked, there is no law that says you can’t sand wrestle. (I get it, some people were drinking, that isn’t allowed I agree, but not what I’m arguing). The police officers that “handled the situation gracefully” were kicking our tables and belongings over. Going through bags unwarranted. I heard a conversation with a student and officer that went as follows “None of us feel comfortable driving home right now. Could we dissociate from our peers and chill farther down the beach (mind you 5 people, not a big crowd) so that we can wait to drive home safely?” The officer then said “If you stay you will be arrested”. Nice cops you have South Haven. As much as I understand public drinking of those who are of age is still breaking your rules, I don’t think forcing driving under the influence is the solution. You can call us whiners and privileged babies, but we were just trying to have safe fun on a gorgeous day. When we were asked to leave, we assisted the process with only 1 person being arrested. (It was a girl that was of age. It is odd that those who were “disturbing the peace- fighting” were arrested according your chief but in reality it was just one student who was under the influence and did not participate in any “fighting”) From my school to your beach, we wish you the best. Those of you at home sitting behind a computer judging our fantastic school and student body from this article need to realize most of your information is incorrect. Hopefully our students next year will find a more tolerable beach to enjoy on our day of GRACIOUS living.

  28. Don't be an idiot // May 18, 2017 at 6:11 PM // Reply

    ^Lol that’s the k spirit! But really it’s about discretion guys and gals…. Should they’ve kicked everyone out, no probably not. Get yourself a water bottle of vodka some juice and a yeti cup, leave the testosterone at home, and relax…. and if they are kicking k students and they ask you if you’re from k what will your answer be next year…. no I’m gvsu 😂

  29. While I do believe that both sides are incorrect in their own respective ways, everyone needs to calm down and stop yelling at one another. Yelling at teenagers over the internet will not keep them off your beach. And yelling at South Haven residence over the internet will not make them forgive what K has done. Read this article. Both sides will enjoy it. Hopefully… https://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2012/02/02/the-kids-are-more-than-all-right/?referer=

  30. Donald T. // May 18, 2017 at 6:53 PM // Reply

    South Haven is the best and the finest. When K College sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re bring wild beach parties. And some, I assume, are good people.

  31. irate SoHa resident // May 18, 2017 at 7:39 PM // Reply

    Ive seen these rowdy drunken IDIOTS in our town year after year! Just a bunch of alcohol-fueled sex-crazed perverts! next time you see a k grad, ask them if they’ve ever given one of their fellow alums a “hornet”! The look on their face will tell you enough!

    • Funny because I bet these k grads are better off than you will ever be.

    • Moon Mongrel // May 20, 2017 at 5:49 PM // Reply

      Irene: I’m sorry, I’m out of the country for a few years. Is that the Cahulawassee River that flows into Lake Michigan at South Haven?

  32. I feel that the police officers acted in a classist manner towards those on the beach. Instead of dumping out 50 Keystones and 50 Labatts, they should have redistributed them to those without alcohol.

  33. The police officers of SH would have have gotten a lot better response if they had not come in swearing and threatening all of us students (one with a taser out). I being a student of K was coming down from the town and was told I could not go onto the beach to get my thing unless I wanted to be arrested. Also I witnessed multiple officers swearing at students and opening bags without consent or cause. Being from around South Haven and have gone to the beach for years. There is always drinking on these beaches and I guarantee you people of South Haven drink on them as well. Last summer I was in the beach when we were kicked off as well and they handled it with class and great patients. It is sad how the officers handled the situation this time around and I hope this can be a learning experience for them in the further. Can’t wait for July 4th fireworks and DOGL 2018 at South Haven! Go Hornets

  34. This thread is the most entertaining thing I’ve read in a long time. With that said, and as a South Haven local, all you people upset should really have a drink or smoke a joint and enjoy the beauty of the beach. Have some fun for god’s sake

  35. Ian Bunker // May 19, 2017 at 12:42 PM // Reply

    I will have diarrhea on the beach

  36. Bob's Biggest Fan // May 19, 2017 at 11:23 PM // Reply

    Bob, where did you go? I miss you so

  37. Bob's Biggest Fan // May 31, 2017 at 6:31 PM // Reply

    Come back to us O Glorious Bob

  38. Okay Kalamazoo. Why did they shorten it to k?

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DOGL Shut Down, K Evicted from South Haven Beach