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Policies to be enforced on May Weekend
May Weekend is a campus-wide event where students, faculty and staff relax before finals. They enjoy free ice cream, fried dough, French fries and other snacks from the food trucks while playing on the various inflatable activities and taking photos with friends. Students have also thought of May Weekend as a weekend that drinking and carrying around open containers was socially acceptable by all. This year, everything is changing.
Many students believe that there are different rules for May Weekend than a normal weekend, but this is wrong. In the past, students over the age of 21 were allowed to go into the ‘beverage tent’ on the quad. Students also carried around open containers. Students have been upset with the lack of consistency in enforcing policies from one weekend to the next. Last fall, Student Affairs spent much time discussing the event with students and decided that it was time to enforce policies the same for every weekend, and not make exceptions.
“Throughout the first semester we met with many student groups to discuss student responsibility and the majority of them felt that the University was being ‘hypocritical’ by not being more responsible during May Weekend,” said Carol Boucher, associate dean of student affairs. “Underage and excessive alcohol consumption is a growing concern for Quinnipiac University and for all colleges and universities. We need to be responsible and do the right thing when it comes to trying to keep our students safe.”
Regardless of what students are hearing and may believe, Boucher said that there have been no changes in the drinking policy for May Weekend. The rules will be the same as they are every weekend.
The safety of our students is out primary concern,” Boucher said. “Because less than 10% of our resident population is of legal age, we need to take our policies seriously.”
Although students wanted more consistency, many are upset with the idea of starting to enforce rules on May Weekend. They feel that this is happening too quickly and that it’s not fair to start enforcing policies on May Weekend when they are used to the rules being lax.
“I think it is completely ridiculous of them [student affairs],” said Mallory Grimste, sophomore sociology major. “I understand why they are changing everything but they cannot take everything away all at once. It is not fair to the students or the RA’s who are going to be responsible for looking after everyone. I feel that if anything, they should try to move towards a dry campus on slower terms. If you move too quickly you are bound to have people being hurt by dumb decisions or not wanting to report themselves or friends to be safe.”
Others, especially seniors and commuter students, are concerned that there could be an increase in irresponsible behavior such as drinking and driving. They feel that students may be angry that they cannot drink on campus, so they will drink at their apartments and then drive to campus to participate in activities, creating a potentially harmful situation for everyone.
“I think that by enforcing all the new rules, the curfew for seniors and getting rid of the buses that run from the off campus locations they are promoting drinking and driving,” said Hilary Sexton, senior political science major. “That by placing all the new sanctions, there will be more problems in the end.”
Although some feel there may be more problems and irresponsible behavior, the Residential Life staff has been working hard and working together so they are ready for any situation.
“The rules haven’t changed. Never in May Weekend policy has alcohol been ‘allowed.’ In the past the RA’s have turned their heads,” said Andrew Videira, junior international business major and Resident Assistant in Hill. “Because of where the University is heading, that is no longer going to be an option. For the RA’s this means confronting angry students who are used to the old ways and added duty shifts in order to maintain overall control of the crowds and ensure that we have enough staff to keep things safe and under control. Whether the change should have been more gradual can be debated, but this is what they have decided, and this is what we have to work with. I would hope that students do not put any undue burden on the RA’s in retaliation for a decision that was made.”
The change to get rid of the beverage tent was to provide a safer environment for all students with the hopes that they will appreciate and enjoy the activities planned by the Student Programming Board.
“May Weekend is the programming weekend of the year,” said Mark Antonucci, vice president of student concerns for SPB. “The greatest strength is the opportunity for all undergraduate students to congregate and enjoy some top of the line events, put on by their peers who are part of the Student Programming Board. The biggest weakness is that students do not seem to appreciate the hard-work and hours that are put in by SPB and its advisor to make all of it happen.”
SPB, Student Government Association and the office of Student Affairs has been working hard to plan a weekend that students will enjoy, while having fun and staying safe.
“We encourage students to understand that ‘you are in control’ of your actions and that if any student has any problems, questions, or concerns to please let SGA know via our campus issue form found on quconcerns.com,” Antonucci said.