Strict policies aim to keep weekend student-centric
Spring Weekend 2010-the event that was connected to the death of a UConn student- has long been discussed in hopes of improvement. This year, only the second year after the two-year long voluntary moratorium on Spring Weekend was lifted, UConn students will continue to see the effects of the events in 2010.
Reasoning for the moratorium was heavily backed by the statistics of non-UConn students causing trouble on campus. The death of UConn student Jafar Karzoun was at the hands of a non-UConn student, and according to UConn Police, 80-90 percent of all arrests over Spring Weekend, both in 2010 and in the years leading up to it, involved people who had no connection to UConn.
Thus, UConn's Spring Weekend policies are aimed at keeping the event entirely student centered. Offices that have enacted rules include Residential Life, Dining Hall Services, Parking Services as well as Off-Campus Housing. According to Sheila Morgansmith, Associate Director of Residence Education, "the majority of off-campus apartment complexes have developed plans with the police that will help reduce large gatherings and concerning behavior. The plans range from guest restriction to on site police presence."
Students living in on-campus housing were informed of this weekend's residence hall policies through an email sent out on April 10. Morgansmith, a co-writer of the email, said this is the fourth year the policy has been enacted. The policies are more restricting than everyday regulations, and as a result, Morgansmith has received a few emails from students questioning the guest restriction and goals of the policy, but asserts that "[the policy] has been very successful in supporting individual residents and our campus communities as a whole."
Becca Herman, Coordinator of the Triad Leadership Program and Advisor to the Spring Weekend Programming Committee, works to implement these policies. "UConn students do incredible things all year and it's nice to be able to cap the year with a celebration of that success. Part of that is that the celebration should be for UConn students," said Herman. The goal of Spring Weekend, according to Herman, is to focus on students, as opposed to keeping non-students out, but it has come to "equal the same thing."
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