Spring Weekend: A Message from the Student Affairs VP and the Chief of Police

To the University community:

As some of you may know, the event that was known as “Spring Weekend” at UConn devolved over a period of years into a destructive and dangerous tradition that attracted thousands of people with no connection to UConn to large nighttime gatherings in Mansfield over three nights. This consistently resulted in numerous arrests, thousands of dollars in property damage, medical emergencies, thefts, fights, fires, and assaults, to name just a few, and placed our students, this campus, and the town at great risk.

Simply, these gatherings, which were not sanctioned or supported in any way by the University, were a magnet for thousands of non-students who created a toxic atmosphere on and around our campus. This carried with it tragic results: during Spring Weekend 2010, a UConn student named Jafar Karzoun was assaulted off campus, following a gathering at a private housing complex. He died from his injuries days later. A non-student was convicted in Jafar’s death. The memory of this tragedy and its implications have not diminished in the time that has passed and continues to guide our thinking today.

With that in mind, UConn students should be aware that between April 19 and 22, the University will be implementing the same measures it did in 2011 during this period. They will include:

  • The UConn Police department, as well as Connecticut State Police, will block or limit access to certain roads, parking lots, and pathways on and around campus. Non-students should not travel to Storrs during this time.
  • The University and police are working closely with the management of the Carriage House and Celeron Square complexes. Access to these areas will be restricted and regulated.
  • Guests are barred from residence halls from April 19 to 22. Dining halls will not allow non-students to enter. RAs and other Residential Life staff will enforce this.

As always, any student who is arrested or in any way violates the Student Code of Conduct will be subject to University sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.

As was the case in 2011, students are urged to return home for the weekend, if possible. However, campus facilities will operate on their normal schedules during this period and continue to serve our students on campus.

Many, both on and off campus, came to see Spring Weekend as an entitlement, despite its destructive nature and the risks and consequences associated with it. All involved should understand that the University’s first and greatest concerns are our students, this campus, and the surrounding community. And we must do everything we can to ensure all three remain safe and secure.

We ask that you join us in that effort, both for yourselves and for UConn. Looking forward, we will depend on the common desire of our students to have a safe environment and to hold events that the entire University can take pride in and enjoy.

Sincerely,

John Saddlemire
Vice President for Student Affairs

Barbara O’Connor
Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police