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Editorial: Preparing for spring in Durham

By TNH Editorial Staff

Welcome back, Wildcats. After a week where Durham emptied out as students departed for their tropical vacation paradise or a week spent settled in at home, UNH’s flagship campus is buzzing once again.

This is the final stretch. In a mere 43 days, final exams will begin and ten days later, our seniors will toss on the cap and gown.

We can only hope it will warm up by then. March 20, the first official day of spring, featured a couple more inches of snow in the southern region of New Hampshire and into Massachusetts. So in the meantime, your Panama City Beach tan (or sunburn) can cool off in the crisp New England air.

We should see warmer temperatures this weekend, but it will be a bit longer before we can drag the lawn chairs out. And as the sun begins to show itself more as the weeks go on, UNH students will enjoy more time outside, which to some means trouble for the town.

In a recent opinion by the editorial board at Foster’s Daily Democrat, the Dover newspaper discussed the sometimes-strained relationship between partying students and the town and university police. The editorial wished everyone “a safe and happy-go-lucky celebration” when Cinco de Mayo rolls around in a few weeks.

Nice weather in Durham has grown to be closely associated with UNH students and police dressed in riot gear walking the streets. Is this an accurate image that represents who we are in the community? Of course not. The typical UNH student spends more time being productive on campus than stumbling downtown drunk with sombrero on their head. But those events have a lasting impression, especially when they make the 10 p.m. news broadcast across the state.

College students will have fun on Cinco de Mayo as they should. They’ll have fun this weekend, the first back since spring break, and only a handful will make the poor choices that lead to handcuffs.

The abundance of college students in town puts a lot of work and responsibility in the hands of the Durham and UNH police departments. With a large population in such a small area as the Durham, and with such active people as college-aged students, issues are bound to arise.

On the first day of sunshine this spring, students will want to get out. It’s the few individuals, sometimes visiting campus and who aren’t students, who make the poor decisions that lead to conflicts with the police. Staying on private property and off the street should keep such conflicts at a minimum.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this editorial incorrectly stated the population of Durham (including residents and UNH students) while comparing it to the cities of Dover and Rochester. This content has been removed in the online version and corrected for the record in print.

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