Dear Mr. Fisher: A lesson on Quinnipiac

By on November 21, 2011

Alex Fisher does “not seek to condemn every student who has ever been to Toad’s.” Yet his close-minded arguments throughout his article, “Close Toad’s now” in the Yale Daily News only perpetuate coarse stereotypes toward Quinnipiac students and our university.

I do not wish to attack Mr. Fisher nor should anyone else condemn him for sharing his opinion.

Since Sept. 16, there have been more than 100 citations for public urination in New Haven, according to New Haven Police Department spokesman David Hartman. Hartman said between 80 and 90 of those citations are from Quinnipiac students.

There are 5,900 undergraduates at Quinnipiac. Those 80 and 90 students do not represent me nor do they represent the majority of students who respect themselves and the city.

Whether you are a Quinnipiac student or not, it is your personal responsibility to conduct yourself with maturity and class upon arrival to New Haven, or any town or city in which you choose to partake in social activities.

There needs to be accountability when you urinate against the side of a building, or in a trash can on the street corner. I hope they understand that. We get it. A $103 fine is enough chastisement without the arrogant and sanctimonious jabs against those students and our university.

Mr. Fisher says that “hundreds” of Quinnipiac students “play in creating scenes of squalor on the streets of New Haven.” With several other colleges in the area, including Yale, it is ignorant to imply the only perpetrators are Quinnipiac students. Statistically, Quinnipiac makes up the majority of citations, but our students are not the only ones running around New Haven.

The DATTCO shuttle system is a necessity for Quinnipiac. It allows students the opportunity to take advantage of local businesses and establishments throughout Hamden and New Haven.  There is more to New Haven than a Saturday night at Toad’s Place. Those businesses rely on us as much as we need them every day of the week, not just on the weekends.

Without the shuttle system, students may find themselves driving irresponsibly and even under the influence to get to New Haven. The university should not be “ashamed” for protecting its students, and the safety and well-being of others.

Mr. Fisher grossly recommends sending a garbage truck filled with trash, vomit and urine to be dumped outside a Quinnipiac “dormitory.” A point of clarification: Quinnipiac does not have “dormitories.” We have residence halls. Nevertheless, this mere suggestion is tactless and offers no real solution in educating students to become better citizens outside our docile campus.

It is inaccurate to state that “Quinnipiac is happy as long as its students aren’t on campus.”

Let me educate you, Mr. Fisher: We have several on-campus programming clubs, such as the Student Programming Board and Quinnipiac After Dark. Both groups work diligently to plan fun, alternative programs for students every Friday and Saturday night. I invite you to visit and see for yourself how much respect we have for ourselves and our community.

Our students immediately took action when the university first addressed student behavior in New Haven earlier this month. Specifically, the Student Government Association started the “Respect Your Ride” campaign reminding students that shuttles to New Haven are a privilege, not a right.

It is proposed in the article that Yale should purchase Toad’s and close the nightclub down as “the benefits would be genuine, immediate and long-lasting.” It may not seem so on Saturday nights, but Toad’s is a cultural institution rich with history featuring concerts and performances from the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan to Billy Joel throughout the years.

Closing Toad’s would not restore civility to your campus. In fact, it would only open the door for another similar venue to open. Not to mention the several other bars and clubs that already populate the city. There are larger issues at play beyond Toad’s.

I challenge Mr. Fisher to remove himself from the Ivy League tower he sits high and mighty on to see that there is more to Quinnipiac and its students than his uninformed and insular viewpoint suggests.

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About Matt Busekroos

Matt Busekroos
Email: publisher@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @mattybooz
Year: 2012
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Shrewsbury, Mass.
Dream Job: Writer for an entertainment trade magazine