May Weekend ‘fairly calm’
Students celebrated the end of the year this weekend in honor of what used to be the university-sanctioned event known as May Weekend.
Although Chief of Public Safety David Barger described the campus as “fairly calm” over the weekend, he said a male student was arrested by Hamen Police on Friday for Breach of Peace after he knocked on doors at the York Hill Campus. The Hamden Police Department was not available for comment.
There were also a number of parties in off-campus Quinnipiac and non-Quinnipiac housing, according to Barger.
“The local police department monitors all sorts of social media in the area so they were actually very well aware of where a lot of this was going on, so they called us and told us where some of the parties were going on in town,” Barger said.
Public Safety, who increased security over the weekend, also confiscated alcohol from underage students entering campus or at on-campus parties, Barger said.
“We actually received a great deal of information from working with the Hamden police department,” he said. “They were out within the neighborhoods and saw a number of our students coming to campus with alcohol.”
Public Safety checked students’ bags and cars throughout the weekend. According to Barger, Public Safety officers have probable cause to check students’ bags when they can see the outline of bottles.
Some students, however, felt that this measure was too extreme.
“I brought my visitor this weekend and they checked all of her personal belongings and I just kind of think it is a big invasion of privacy,” sophomore Tracey Hummel said. “I feel like it is for a good reason that they’re checking and they want everyone to be safe, but I think what they are doing now is just a little excessive this year.”
In addition to being worried about alcohol, Public Safety was concerned for students’ safety in light of the explosions at the Boston Marathon and the anticipated increased number of visitors, Barger said.
The explosions gave Public Safety a “heightened sense of security,” Barger said. One of the Marathon bombers admitted that he would have headed to New York next, meaning he would have passed Quinnipiac, Barger said. Since the university is becoming better known, Public Safety wanted to be more vigilant, he said.
“I know a number of students will read this and say we’re way off the charts, being way too careful, that this is just subterfuge to find alcohol,” Barger said. “No it isn’t. We’re trying to be as proactive as we can, knowing that we’ll have a greater influx of people, not just on this weekend, but on every weekend from here on out.”
Some students, like sophomore Emily Maggio, felt that looking for alcohol was Public Safety’s primary concern.
“I think they’re using Boston as an excuse to check more people’s bags and find more alcohol,” she said. “It was just convenient timing for them.”
Others, like sophomore Nicole Dow, appreciated that Public Safety was on alert due to the Boston Marathon explosions.
“No one wants to be on a campus where it’s dangerous,” she said. “You want to check cars, make sure there’s no bombs, no guns, no nothing, yeah, that’s understandable.”
However, she felt that Public Safety’s other security measures were taken too far.
“The way I see it, [Public Safety] is here for us and it’s supposed to benefit us,” Dow said. “Severe incidents have happened at this school because of May Weekend, but they have to understand that not every student is like that.”