Editorial: Spring Weekend not as bad as it appears

(Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

In a continuation of previous years policies, the UConn Police Department will be conducting DUI checkpoints across campus during Spring Weekend. On North Eagleville Road and Discovery Drive, police officers will be briefly stopping drivers and checking for any signs of intoxication. Additionally they will be making sure that drivers are driving safely and that people are wearing seatbelts.

Also like past year, students will also have some restrictions placed on them. No non-UConn residents will be allowed in residence halls. Additionally, all guests in residence halls must have their guest passes and their student IDs on their persons during their stay in the residence hall. Any student who wants to attend a UConn sanctioned Spring Weekend event must also pick up a spring weekend wristband through SUBOG. According to the UConn administration, all of this is being done to keep campus and students as safe as possible.

For those who don’t know, Spring Weekend is a special time for college students. It’s the last “free” weekend before exams so most students spend their time hanging out with friends, doing activities on campus and going to parties. Back in the early 2000s that meant massive parties on Hunting Lodge Road with thousands of people partying at Celeron and Carriage. Additionally Spring Weekend brought in hundreds of non-UConn students who wanted to spend the weekend partying with wild college students.

All of this came to a head in 2010 when Jafar Karzoun, a UConn junior, was killed after being punched by Edi Rapo, a non-student from East Hartford. In 2011, Rapo was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison and UConn was locked down. No events were held and students were encouraged to head home for the weekend instead of spending it on campus.

In past years, students have complained that UConn is turning into a police state on Spring Weekend. They decry the control and restrictions that the university is pulling over students during their final weekend of freedom before having to study for exams.

It is important to note, however, that over the past seven years, Spring Weekend policy is actually loosening. The first few years following the death of Karzoun, UConn truly was a police state. Nobody was allowed in and for good reason. In past years, UConn has been helping to coordinate events that will give students something to do instead of partying in crazy manner. Even the DUI checkpoints are less severe, running from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. instead 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The goal of all of these measures is to make UConn less attractive to non-UConn students during Spring Weekend and it is working.

Instead of criticizing the administration, UConn students should be applauding them for doing all they can to keep students safe during these times. Additionally all students should make sure that they keep themselves and those around them safe as they can for this weekend. Huskies must protect their pack.