UConn officially declares Spring Weekend dead. About time. Here’s the offical death notice from the univesity:
“Spring Weekend” Passes Quietly; Crowds Nonexistent
Storrs, Conn.— In 2010, the crowds that gathered during the three-day period known as “Spring Weekend” near UConn’s Storrs campus were estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 people each night. In contrast, this past weekend – April 19 to 22 – no crowds of any significant size gathered during any of the three nights, the UConn campus and the surrounding housing complexes remained quiet, and X-Lot – Saturday’s traditional gathering spot in the past – was completely empty all night.
In 2010, UConn police made 84 criminal arrests over Spring Weekend; this year, they made only six, which police described as “normal” for a weekend when classes are in session. Police also said the activity on and around campus this year was below what they would expect for an average warm-weather weekend during the semester. In 2011, Spring Weekend crowds were much smaller than previous years; this year, there were no crowds at all.
“The credit for this weekend passing quietly goes to UConn students, the exceptional efforts of UConn Public Safety and Student Affairs staff as well as to our partners in this effort: state and municipal police agencies, local landlords and the town of Mansfield,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “Thanks to all involved, the weekend was uneventful and our campus, this community and our students remained safe.”
“It needs to be noted that the vast majority of problems that grew out of this event in the past were caused by thousands of non-students who came to Mansfield, not UConn students themselves. We look forward to engaging in a discussion on campus about new, more positive end-of-semester student-centered traditions that can take the place of the ugly, destructive gatherings that came to dominate this event over time,” said Herbst.
“This was really the Spring Weekend that wasn’t,” said UConn Police Chief Barbara O’Connor. “Crowds were nonexistent and there was less activity on and around campus than we would have expected on a typical warm-weather weekend when classes are in session. The number of arrests made were also about what we would have expected for an average weekend. Things remained very quiet.”
The vastly diminished Spring Weekend was the result of the university and its partners enhancing measures designed to reduce the size of crowds and limit non-students – who accounted for between 80% and 90% of the arrests made each year – from accessing campus and the Carriage House and Celeron Square housing complexes.
These measures included: barring guests from staying in residence halls; blocking numerous roads, parking lots and pathways; working closely with the management of the off-campus housing complexes to limit visitors and asking students to not participate in Spring Weekend activities. The same strategy was in place in 2011, when crowds became a small fraction of what they had been in previous years and only 18 arrests were made.
Spring Weekend grew over four decades from a relatively sedate student-centric gathering to an unwieldy event that resulted in property damage, vandalism, thefts, fires and violence: during Spring Weekend 2010, a UConn student named Jafar Karzoun was assaulted off-campus following an unsanctioned gathering at a private housing complex. He died days later. A non-student was convicted in his death.
Spring Weekend was not organized, sanctioned or supported by the university, which sought for years to end it.
Back in the old days