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May Weekend cancelled for safety purposes, well-being of students
To upperclassmen and alumni, “May Weekend” is synonymous letting loose before finals. It has been an upheld tradition for years at Quinnipiac University, but on May 7, an e-mail from the administration was sent to the student community stating that the May Weekend tradition would come to a close.
Student opinions on the matter were hardly varied. There was an uproar throughout the student body concerning the administration’s decision.
“I think it’s ridiculous. They are punishing the whole University for some people’s inability to handle themselves when given the opportunity to have a good time,” senior nursing major Kelsey Skeffington said. But senior Physical Therapy major Tommy Durant said, “It was bound to happen.”
Some in the community turned to www.facebook.com to voice their frustrations through a group entitled “Prohibition didn’t work, Why would taking away May Weekend?”
School officials haven’t overlooked the students’ opinions and are now addressing the most popular question, “Why?”
“A lot of the reasons are simple. The goal of the university is building community and May Weekend no longer appeared to show the university’s mission,” Associate Dean of Student Affairs Carol Boucher said.
According to the school Web site, “A Quinnipiac education embodies the university’s commitment to three important values: excellence in education, sensitivity to students and a spirit of community.”
Student drinking was not limited to dorms.
The University was forced to spend large amounts of money on security alone. There was increased training for Residential Assistants, extra meetings, local police patrolling the campus and according to Boucher, “administrative work hours were astronomical.”
Because of the time and effort to just to prepare for May Weekend, administrators were disappointed in the need to use funds in such a way. Boucher and Assistant Dean Claudia Arias-Cirinna both felt that students went too far and were not reflecting the values Quinnipiac strives to meet.
Boucher, former head of Residential Life, explains that, over the years, student behavior has worsened during May Weekend.
“The level of alcohol consumption was constant and everywhere.Universities have to be more and more cautious of potential risks.not only for the university, but for the well-being of the students,” Boucher said.
The administration felt that they could no longer support an event which created such an unhealthy environment. As an alcohol educator, Arias-Cirinna says that it was, “scary to watch an environment so out of control.”
Gina D’Ambria, a sophomore psychology major voiced the opinion of many students.
“Drinking is going to happen whether they cancel May Weekend or not,” D’Ambria said.
With the threat of students rebelling against the cancelation, Student Affairs wishes to let students know that they are planning for and expecting this response, and will take action. Students have been removed from school for drinking in the past but Boucher and other administration officials are confident that “students won’t risk their education to drink beer on the quad.”
Some students have come to agree with the administration. Lindsey Maglio, a junior biology major said, “Students are just going to party more.and that will show the administration that we don’t deserve (May Weekend) or other events like it.”
But with May Weekend gone, another question arises, “Where is the money going?”
“The money will be put back into programming.it will not be taken away from the students,” Boucher said.
President of the Student Programming Board and Vice-President of Programming for Student Government Association, Alysse Rossner, says, “SPB is planning many new programs.”
One of the events in the works is “Spirit Week”, a week-long celebration with various themes that will end with a large student event. “We’re starting a new tradition to end an old tradition,” Rossner said.
SPB and SGA will be using the money from the May Weekend budget to create this exciting new event and students can look forward to the Quinnipiac community involvement.
Rossner says, “A lot went into May Weekend. We put on a great event but other aspects took over. We understand why and are moving forward.”