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"New" University Weekend
features on-campus events
April 13, 1998

A new, improved University Weekend will breeze onto the Storrs campus April 23, with a new twist - all events will be held on campus, and only UConn students will be allowed entry.

After a full year of discussions and planning that involved nearly a dozen student groups, a broad range of organizations and individuals that play roles in the annual event - from administrators to town officials, public safety and law enforcement officers to area landlords - the three-day, campus-wide event is ready to go. Officials hope the changes will help provide a safe, secure environment for students, while minimizing any disruption in the community.

"We have tried to make sure that the traditional rites of passage into spring will be done, in an atmosphere that is safe, controlled, and fun," said Artie Travis, director of student activities and union programs.

The weekend will kick-off Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m., with an all-campus picnic on the football practice field, located near Lot D, just above Memorial Stadium. All but one campus dining hall will be closed, allowing students the option of dining picnic style - grinders, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and salads - or traditionally, in the dorm. The dining hall that will remain open has not been determined.

Meanwhile, as smoke from the charcoal pits begins to rise, the first of nine bands will take the stage, starting a musical festival that will feature local bands playing a wide range of music straight through until 12:30 a.m.

At 6 p.m., the picnic equipment will be replaced by vendors from local eateries. Students showing proof of age will be allowed to purchase beer, which can be bought only one drink at a time. The beer tent will be run by University Catering, which obtained a one-day permit from the state Liquor Control Commission. The event is being sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Government.

There will be only two points of entry to the field, each of which will be staffed by UConn officials who will check student IDs. Those without valid IDs will not be allowed to enter the field.

A similar setup is planned for Saturday, April 25, when a SUBOG-sponsored block party featuring DJ Doug and the Power Posse rocks at Memorial Stadium. Besides music, the field will be filled with games, including a 100-foot high slide, laser tag, a gyro ride and more. Food and drink will again be available. The event is for UConn students only, and access will be confined to two entry points. The party is scheduled to run from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.

In between the two major events, on April 24, events are being planned at virtually every residence hall quad on campus, and the annual Oozeball tournament will run its slippery course, this year in a field adjacent to the Towers residence halls. Again, only UConn students will be allowed to participate, with UConn staff checking student IDs across campus. The dozens of events are being sponsored by the Residence Hall Association.

"As a result of what's happened during the past year, in a variety of work groups, the students have decided to create a few important new traditions at the University for this weekend," said Thomas Q. Callahan, associate vice president for institutional advancement.

"We want this to work. We want UConn students to enjoy a safe and entertaining weekend on campus. We have worked very hard during the past year, and have received a great deal of cooperation to date from student organizations, town officials, public safety and law enforcmenet officers, and area landlords."

Richard Veilleux