Burning couches and knocked over vehicles were once the scene at UConn’s annual spring celebration. Now, UConn officials said those are things of the past and students should expect even more changes for Spring Weekend.
“Certainly there was a time when the image of Spring Weekend at UConn was pretty rowdy,” UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “And those days are past, we're very happy to say.”
After facing extinction, the long weekend at UConn typically known for rowdy parties and debauchery is back. But this year, restrictions continue and the event will take an even sharper turn. Official events include a talent show, 5-K race, and muddy volleyball.
In the past, thousands of visitors came to join the festivities, but now guests are not allowed on-campus.
“It's like they're putting us on lockdown,” UConn Junior Allison Page said.
She’s not convinced efforts by university officials will shut down any partying.
“It's not really helping the situation. I think people will just try to act out anyway,” she said.
Many students and guests have also been arrested or hurt in years past.
Tragedy struck in 2010, when a student died after a fight with visitors, forcing the university to squash Spring Weekend.
“It really did take sort of a tearing down of that whole tradition and rebuilding into something which is so much more positive today,” said Reitz.
UConn President Susan Herbst sent an email on Tuesday to the university with a stern message. She said the university has zero tolerance for “destructive bacchanal” that once surrounded Spring Weekend and added they'll do everything necessary to keep those dark days behind them.
“I think they've been doing a good job as far as hosting things on campus to get people away from these dangers,” sophomore Matthew Miller said.
The celebration kicks off at the Student Union Thursday at noon and you can expect to see a heavy police presence on campus.