Calmer Spring Weekend Returns

Saturday, Apr 27, 2013  |  Updated 12:05 AM EDT
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After a two-year hiatus, Spring Weekend has returned to UConn, and police are out in full force making sure the campus and students are safe.

After a two-year hiatus, Spring Weekend has returned to UConn, and police are out in full force making sure the campus and students are safe.

It's Spring Weekend at UConn but this year the celebration is a much different than in the past.

The university debuted on-campus activities including a festival of food trucks outside the student union. Students lined up for the free food Friday night.

"This is cool, free food, love clam chowder. I kind of miss the old days but when someone dies you got to do something right?" said David Henriques, a UConn senior.

The traditional party weekend, known for heavy drinking and arrests, is a thing of the past. This is the first Spring Weekend at the university since 2010 when Jafar Karzoun, a UConn student, died after being assaulted off-campus.

Now, there's a heavy police presence aimed at catching drunk drivers and limiting the amount of non-students who are taking part in the festivities.

UConn police are stopping cars as they enter campus.

State police have set up checkpoints near campus and they're also conducting roving patrols in the area. They issued more than 850 tickets for speeding, seat belt violations, and other offenses since their increased enforcement began on Monday, which is on par with their enforcement efforts for a typical holiday weekend.

"So far, no D.U.I. arrests which is a good thing. Also, no serious injury accidents, no pedestrian injury accidents," said Sgt. John Netkovick of the Connecticut State Police.

Some students say the increased police presence on and off-campus is too much.

"I think it's a little excessive, but so far they haven't been too bad," said Bill Conley, a UConn senior.

Stephen Petkis, UConn's student body president, says the extra enforcement is necessary to ensure student safety.

"It the police need to issue tickets to make sure people are okay then that's what they need to do," said Petkis.

Spring Weekend continues through Saturday.

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