To Our Community:
We write to you together today to say thank you.
As many of you know, the period once known as “Spring Weekend” began harmlessly many years ago as an end-of-semester tradition for UConn students. However, over four decades, it gradually became an ugly and destructive event that was increasingly dominated by non-students with no connection to UConn or Mansfield and little to lose. It put our community and our students at risk. The evidence of this was endless: fights, fires, vandalism, theft, and violence became its hallmarks. It was disturbing in equal measure to both the University and the residents of Mansfield, who suffered from its consequences each year.
Thanks to the combined efforts of our own students, public safety and other university personnel, state and local police, the town of Mansfield, and area property owners, that unwanted recurring event has come to an end. To all those who contributed to this positive change, we thank you on behalf of our entire institution and the town of Mansfield. Most especially, we thank the students of the University of Connecticut, without whom this partnership would have been ineffective.
We have received very positive feedback from many UConn students, our faculty and staff, area residents, and from throughout our state, which collectively came to see “Spring Weekend” as a stain on the University’s reputation and – by extension – an embarrassment to the state of Connecticut itself.
This is not a view shared by everyone; many non-students and some of our own students lamented its demise. They noted, as the University did, that UConn students were never really the root of the problem; for example, non-students who traveled to Mansfield accounted for between 80 percent and 90 percent of the arrests made each year.
And so, in addition to saying thank you, especially to students, for your contribution to the effort to end Spring Weekend, we also write to you today about the future. Over the next year, we look forward to engaging in a discussion across our campus and in the community about establishing new, more positive end-of-semester traditions that are exclusively for UConn students and are both safe and enjoyable. We cannot put it better than one student recently did when he said simply that he “would like to have fun with my friends” and fellow students at the end of the semester before finals begin. That is a good place to begin.
From Umass to Uconn to Wisconsin to Maryland this is what is happening across this great country of ours. The persecution of the party. College administrators taking draconian type measures to stop kids from partying and having fun. Deans and administrators spend the entire school year going to conference after conference discussing this shit. Talking to each other and sharing ideas about how to destroy Spring Weekends forever. So what makes this Uconn story any different than any other? Well the fact the President of Uconn, Susan Herbst is actually thanking students for their cooperation and support. Umm that’s like the Nazi’s thanking the Jews for willingly walking into the gas chambers. I mean having police barricades, checkpoints, and everything else isn’t willing cooperation. That is brute force. So yes Susan Herbst you can pat yourself on the back for stopping this event, but make no mistake about it. This was done against the will of virtually every Uconn Husky student. You didn’t win through discussion, democracy or free will. You won through force, threats and intimidation. I guess that’s what institutions of higher learning are all about nowadays though. Congrats….