Tobin addresses students on St. Patrick's Day party

What a grand day Saint Patrick’s Day was! The sunshine, warm temperature and celebration of our Irish heritage created the conditions for a memorable party in front of the Lewis Townhouses. As our Irish friends might say, the “craic” was good! I would like to address a few issues to the student community.

First of all, I want to thank you for behaving in such a manner that we received no reports of anyone being hurt. Such crowd gatherings have the potential to get out of control. I am grateful to all who helped maintain control and to everyone who was there for your cooperation. I also want to express my gratitude and respect for all who cleaned up the area at the conclusion of the celebration.

Secondly, the spontaneity and rapid organic growth of the gathering resulted in our commitment to assure safety first and not risk creating an unsafe condition by our response to the gathering. Please understand, in no way does the University sanction such large scale parties where the proper elements to safeguard against underage public consumption of alcohol are not in place.

Thirdly, though many students would like to repeat this celebration on future weekends, the University cannot accept the liability to which such gatherings expose us all. I understand this may be disappointing to some. I am grateful for your respect and understanding of our responsibility to you, your families, and all connected to alma mater.

Finally, it is an unfortunate reality that alcohol plays such a significant role in the social lives of university students across the country. Tragically, 57 college students die every weekend as a result of overconsumption or alcohol related injuries. Many of you may know personally the distress and suffering overconsumption of alcohol has caused. Please use good judgment about your use of alcohol if you choose to drink. And remember, it is possible to have great fun without drinking. It is you, after all, not alcohol, that makes something fun!

SpringFest is around the corner. SAC will work very hard to create the conditions for a great event — you will animate it with your spirit, not spirits, to make it a blast. Carpe diem!

Dr. Gerry Tobin
Vice President for Student Life