The Student Government Association (SGA) hosted an event on March 3 in the Kennedy Union Ballroom to discuss public safety, alcohol and St. Patrick’s Day.
SGA prepared ten questions for the panelists– Christine Schramm (Dean of Students), William Fischer (Vice President for Student Development) and Rodney Chatman (Police Chief). Students had an opportunity to ask their own questions afterward.
President Eric Spina attended but did not participate in the panel.
Frustration with the 3 p.m. return time on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) was a main focus.
When asked if there is a strain between administration and students, Schramm responded by saying that she is only asked this question around St. Patrick’s Day. She believes the relationship is fractured only when both sides are at odds, and that is mostly only related to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
“[We are] crystal clear on our expectations for St. Patrick’s Day,” Schramm said. She added, “Why is this so different than any other Saturday?”
The panel agreed administration has no issues with the holiday being celebrated responsibly.
When asked if riot police would make an appearance during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Chief Chatman said Public Safety has plans and resources in place for crowd management.
The complaint that students pay thousands of dollars in tuition yet are still being kicked out of their residences, potentially causing some students to have to pay more for travel plans, received lots of applause from the audience.
The panel responded by saying that UD has a reputation to uphold, owns the property students live on and is not the only school that closes for spring break.
The panelists also focused on alcohol on campus more broadly.
Four to five years ago, UD experienced an increase in alcohol related hospital visits, according to Fischer. In response, the university changed its alcohol polices with the hope of decreasing the number of hospital visits. Chugging, drinking games and anything that promotes binge drinking were explicitly prohibited.
However, even with these policy changes, the number of hospital visits has not decreased. Chief Chatman remarked that during the past week, UD averaged one student per day admitted to the hospital for overconsumption of alcohol.
Fischer stated, “[We are] learning as we go, and doing the best we can.”
This was the last “Campus Clarity” event of the academic year, but SGA, administration and public safety hope to keep the lines of communication open.
Photos taken by Christian Cubacub.