Spring Weekend: The Party’s Off At UConn By SUSAN HERBST
Most Connecticut residents know what “Spring Weekend” refers to: the deeply unfortunate and destructive annual bacchanal held near the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus in late April that has featured thousands of people descending on Mansfield to, for lack of a better term, “party” for three nights. UConn and our partners will do the same this year. We have asked students not to participate in Spring Weekend and return home if they can. Our message to non-students is this: Do not make plans to come to Storrs next weekend. You will find police officers, DUI checkpoints, closed roads, blocked parking lots and impassable walkways. Non-students will not be permitted in our dorms or dining halls. While campus facilities will be open to serve UConn students next weekend, non-students will find our campus to be inhospitable. The state should also know that UConn and our partners have been and continue to do everything we can to combat this unwanted tradition and eventually end it for good.
Letter to Students:
To the University community:
As some of you may know, the event that was known as “Spring Weekend” at UConn devolved over a period of years into a destructive and dangerous tradition that attracted thousands of people with no connection to UConn to large nighttime gatherings in Mansfield over three nights. This consistently resulted in numerous arrests, thousands of dollars in property damage, medical emergencies, thefts, fights, fires, and assaults, to name just a few, and placed our students, this campus, and the town at great risk.
Simply, these gatherings, which were not sanctioned or supported in any way by the University, were a magnet for thousands of non-students who created a toxic atmosphere on and around our campus. This carried with it tragic results: during Spring Weekend 2010, a UConn student named Jafar Karzoun was assaulted off campus, following a gathering at a private housing complex. He died from his injuries days later. A non-student was convicted in Jafar’s death. The memory of this tragedy and its implications have not diminished in the time that has passed and continues to guide our thinking today.
With that in mind, UConn students should be aware that between April 19 and 22, the University will be implementing the same measures it did in 2011 during this period. They will include:
- The UConn Police department, as well as Connecticut State Police, will block or limit access to certain roads, parking lots, and pathways on and around campus. Non-students should not travel to Storrs during this time.
- The University and police are working closely with the management of the Carriage House and Celeron Square complexes. Access to these areas will be restricted and regulated.
- Guests are barred from residence halls from April 19 to 22. Dining halls will not allow non-students to enter. RAs and other Residential Life staff will enforce this.
As always, any student who is arrested or in any way violates the Student Code of Conduct will be subject to University sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.
As was the case in 2011, students are urged to return home for the weekend, if possible. However, campus facilities will operate on their normal schedules during this period and continue to serve our students on campus.
Many, both on and off campus, came to see Spring Weekend as an entitlement, despite its destructive nature and the risks and consequences associated with it. All involved should understand that the University’s first and greatest concerns are our students, this campus, and the surrounding community. And we must do everything we can to ensure all three remain safe and secure.
We ask that you join us in that effort, both for yourselves and for UConn. Looking forward, we will depend on the common desire of our students to have a safe environment and to hold events that the entire University can take pride in and enjoy.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police
What is this fuck with Kmarko day? Are colleges like actively trying to piss me off today? First the Boulder story. Then Delaware. Now my email’s getting flooded with these letters from UConn who has effectively cancelled Spring Weekend. Even tighter restrictions than last year as if that was even possible. Just straight up arresting anyone who leaves their dorm room. Legitimately a police state. It’s insane. I think the best thing to say here is nothing and let an actual UConn student do the talking with probably The Chick’s greatest contribution to Barstool U in her brief career:
To President Hogan who spent thousands of dollars on life-size cardboard cutouts of himself to place around campus, while at the same time laying off professors because of the tight budget…Remember when you left UConn to go “run things” in Illinois? Well, Fuck You. Fuck you and you’re established Task Force which I hope includes the ticket-writing officers who don’t do anything accept write me a $30.00 parking ticket every fucking day.
Stop trying to “de-escalate” the one thing UConn is known for. We only have three bars on campus, less than 10 restaurants and a cow for every undergraduate. You’ve given us nothing and now you’re trying to take away the one thing we made for ourselves. The Task Force is hoping to “a. forcefully stop people from gathering and b. discourage non-university students from attending the non-sanctioned events.” Hey you can just use the tear gas from my Freshman year when you made my eyes itchy for days and gave my roommate an asthma attack. That wasn’t fucked up at all. Or hey try to take away my rights and tell me I can’t invite friends to my own house. Let’s see how well that goes.
Seriously UConn, let’s try to make our school as unappealing as possible and take away the one thing that brings our entire student body together. You’ve herded us together on fucking farm land. You refuse to build more bars, you refuse to give us anything besides karaoke nights at the Student Union and now you’re refusing to let students who pay 20-40 grand to come to this school have friends in their own fucking dorm rooms? This isn’t some pussy private school like Providence..this is a fucking state-run institution. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you step all over my 1st Amendment rights…freedom of assembly bitches, it’s in the Constitution.
I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, I mean no disrespect to Jafar Karzoun because what happened to him was fucked up and I hope the bastard who ended his life gets the maximum sentence, but it’s just sad that UConn has to use him and Jasper Howard to justify canceling the whole thing. For anyone who doesn’t remember, Jasper Howard, the football player who got stabbed last year was standing in front of the Student Union, right in the middle of campus, away from the off-campus drunkard shenanigans. And yet didn’t see the task force working to stop paint-a-coffee-mug night…or for that matter increasing campus security.
So sorry if it’s hard for me to take you guys too seriously right now. It’s just difficult for me to really believe you’re going to end a UConn tradition in force since the 1960s and the one weekend that students actually look forward to all fucking year. In any case, don’t worry, I’ll play your games. I’ll send in my 30-person friend list for the off-campus house I pay $500 a month to live in. Mostly because I can not fucking wait to see you hold a list of names, individually letting kids in, while 10,000 people try to bust into the complex. Good luck stopping a moving train. Make sure you think of some excuses beforehand for bringing the dogs and tear gassing us like you did two years ago…don’t want to be stumbling for words when the newspaper asks for quotes.
And to all of you who still want to see what Spring Weekend is all about…please, this is my personal invitation to you all…come to Storrs, bring your booze and find me. I’ll be the girl dancing on the roof of 8, yelling obscenities to the cops and rallying the troops with the 4-ft pole that fell of my blue couch last weekend. Shit is going to be hilarious.
Cue the car-flipping, dumpster-fire-starting, beer-can throwing, naked-running music my friends. I’ll see you all next Wednesday for the start of the festivities.
The Chick out.