May Weekend ’06 Coverage: QU and campus should find middle ground

By on March 29, 2006

In their never-ending quest to make Quinnipiac University the best it can be for their students, President Lahey and his cabinet have decided to make drastic changes to the May Weekend experience.

Traditionally, May Weekend has been a time when the rules for consuming alcohol on campus have been, shall we say, relaxed quite a bit. For the majority of the weekend, students could be seen drinking outside all over campus from party cups without penalty. The rule appeared to be as long as the source was not exposed, there would be no problem. For students who used this brief time of freedom responsibly, May Weekend was a weekend to look forward to for the entire year.

Unfortunately, President Lahey has announced that the situation will be different this year. Number one, there will be no beer tent, or “refreshment tent,” as the administration likes to euphemistically refer to it.

It used to be set up on the grass beside Alumni Hall, and obviously only legal-age students were allowed to enter. However, it will not exist this year, depriving students who are over 21 of the opportunity to share in the tradition of past Quinnipiac classes.

An email sent to the Chronicle by the Student Government Association said that “.the drinking policies will remain consistent with other weekends during the year. For example, Residential Life will be enforcing their policies about open containers outdoors.” It goes on to say that all of these decisions were made by Lahey and his cabinet based on data collected from focus groups. Naturally, it does not say what types of people these focus groups consisted of.

The first thing that we as Quinnipiac students should do is take a step back and realize what it is we had.

My first May Weekend as a student in 2004 was quite the scene. Whereas all year long students were not allowed to drink outside – and technically shouldn’t have been drinking at all if they weren’t 21 – security and the Residential Hall staff looked the other way on May Weekend. It amazed me that students could have so much freedom for one weekend out of the year. The key was being responsible and mature about it and not doing anything stupid.

I agree with Adam Murphy’s point in a related article in this section that security and the RA staff are going to have their hands full with rebellious students on May Weekend. However, that would reflect even more poorly on the student population. The likely reason for these changes is the belief that Quinnipiac students behaved far too irresponsibly on this weekend in the past.

That in itself is very debatable, no matter what the university says. But be it as it may, further compounding the problem by behaving even more foolishly this year would likely result in further restrictions next year. For the most part, the party will have to move inside this year, but there’s no reason the weekend can’t be fun just the same. It’s unfortunate, perhaps unfair and misguided, but it is what it is.

Perhaps most disturbing of all the changes is that there will no longer be shuttles running to and from campus for the benefit of off-campus students, primarily seniors. This creates the extremely dangerous scenario of off-campus students driving to campus, drinking with their friends, and somehow having to get back home. It is extremely naive of Quinnipiac to think that ending the shuttle service will have any positive effect.

I still think the majority of students took advantage of May Weekend responsibly, but the decision-makers apparently disagree. Two things need to be understood here. One, the administration needs to realize students, including those living off-campus, are still going to drink. Secondly, and related, students should realize that May Weekend can still be a fun time regardless of what changes are made.


About A. J. Atchue