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Trustee committee to review Spring Weekend

by Karen A. Grava - July 21, 2008

The Board of Trustees has asked its Student Life Committee to undertake a complete review of Spring Weekend.

A focused effort by the University, led by Student Affairs and Public Safety, in cooperation with the Town of Mansfield and the State Police, has led to more orderly Spring Weekends, as the number and severity of public disruptions have declined.

Over the past several years, the University has initiated numerous actions to increase the number of sanctioned and non-alcohol-related events, including enhancing the Saturday night concerts, oozeball, Late Night at the Student Union, area carnivals, and other programs offered to UConn students.

“Spring Weekend has a negative impact on our institutional reputation,” says John Saddlemire, vice president for student affairs.

“The board is looking for ways to address this continuing challenge, recognizing that there are no easy answers.”

“We have initiated a number of programs to increase students’ safety and raise awareness about underage and binge drinking. We have worked with package stores to limit keg sales, sales of bottles, and sales to underage individuals, and we have worked with area high schools and other colleges to discourage outsiders from coming to campus.”

Saddlemire notes that UConn has focused its efforts on engaging UConn students in appropriate activities and discouraging non-student participation in events during Spring Weekend.

“Over the years, the events taking place have attracted many people not related to the University and this continues to be a problem,” he says. Most of the arrests each year are of non-students.

The Board’s Student Life Committee has been asked to review Spring Weekend and consider the gamut of options, including continuing current efforts, suggesting program alternatives, or eliminating Spring Weekend as it is currently organized.

“We need to remember that the overwhelming majority of the problems involve non-UConn students,” Saddlemire says.

“UConn students have been taking increasing responsibility for their actions and their weekend. However, problems continue to concern the board and the administration.”

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