By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer
With Homecoming weekend upon us, students, faculty, staff, alumni and their friends and family are once again reminded to stay safe during the fall festivities.
Similar to last year, the UNH Police Department will have some extra help on campus, as shown by the numerous police cars that have been found in Lot C this week.
“We have our usual public safety partners from area city, town, county and state law enforcement agencies. We have roughly the same number of law enforcement working this year as last year,” said Executive Director of Safety and UNH Police Chief Paul Dean. “Officers will be patrolling all over campus and assisting the Town of Durham with off-campus patrols.”
Last year, the UNH Police Department made more than two dozen drug or alcohol related arrests on Saturday alone, according to their archived police logs that can be found on their website.
But the department is not the only body on campus reminding students to make smart choices.
The campus administration also made a statement by changing the tailgating rules on campus in order to provide a safer environment for those hanging out on Boulder Field before the big game. These changes have now made it so that only alumni can park in Boulder Field, while undergraduates are allowed to park in A-lot. All vehicles must have a ticket to park in both tailgating areas. In order to park in Boulder field, alumni vehicles must be pre-registered in addition to having a ticket.
Alcohol quantities must now meet the standards set by the Student Rules, Rights and Responsibilities Guide, which says that any of-age student can bring in no more than one six-pack of beer, four 12-ounce wine coolers or anything equivalent to that into the event. Any other type of alcoholic beverage is also prohibited.
Though many students voiced outrage about this move, Student Body President Joseph Sweeney did his part to muster up support in an email sent out on Thursday, Oct. 9, at roughly 10 a.m.
“Let me be clear: these rules were implemented for the betterment of the entire university. These are not punitive in nature; rather, these rules are designed to make everyone’s Homecoming experience, from the freshmen that are engaging for the first time, to the alumni who have been here for the last 40 years,” Sweeney wrote in the email. “We as Wildcats are a family, and our family should look out for one another. Please, have fun this weekend, relieve stress from exams and papers, and be safe.”
And when it comes to his message to students, Dean’s advice is simple but clear.
“Have fun, be safe and civic-minded,” he said. “We are part of the Town of Durham community and, always remember, every day is a great day to be a Wildcat.”