Officials outline enforcement, prohibited behavior

By: Eileen Comerford – Staff Writer

St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally one of the biggest party days on the University of Dayton campus, and UD public safety is making sure everyone enjoys it as safely as possible.

“The university is not here to ruin the party, just to make sure it’s done responsibly,” Bruce Burt, executive director of public safety and chief of police, said.

Burt discussed this year’s St. Patrick’s Day rules on campus, along with UD Vice President of Student Development Bill Fischer and Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Christine Schramm at a public meeting March 1. Burt said that this year’s plan is not much different than last year’s.

“The plan is to maintain order and ensure the safety and security of our communities not compromise,” Burt said. Not only does Burt advise revelers to act responsibly, but he also insists in compliance with the laws of the state of Ohio, the city of Dayton, and the standards of behavior for the university.

Fischer outlined what will be prohibited: community disturbances, blocking streets, throwing objects, possession of glass bottles, lighting fires and being on roofs.

One service the staff outlined is  public safety offering guarded parking. The U2 parking lot near the Marriott hotel will be available to students and, security will be provided throughout the night to ensure that cars are not vandalized. This service will be available starting at the close of school business Monday night until Wednesday morning.

Additionally, access to parking lots will be monitored to avoid outside influence.

“This is a weekend that we want to have students celebrate together and to minimize the negative impact from the outside community,” Burt said.

“The more egregious behavior was not students,” said Burt. “That’s why we’re trying to limit access to the campus. You bring outsiders in and sometimes those individuals don’t have respect for you or our community, and they’re going to treat us as such.”

To confirm a person’s identity as a UD student, the staff urged students to carry their student IDs on them at all times.

The panel also stressed the importance of staying off roofs. With reference to last year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, as well as the events after the NCAA tournament victories, roofs were cited as a major concern and a key area to be monitored this year. During last year’s celebrations, a landlord house’s roof collapsed from the weight of students standing on it, Burt said.

Maintaining order, according to university staff, is the end goal. Occupying or blocking city streets and sidewalks has been an issue in past celebrations, which, Burt noted, makes it impossible for emergency vehicles to properly respond to dangerous situations should they arise. However, Burt said they will monitor crowds “with the intent to clear the streets, not to ruin the party. It goes far beyond the behavior that’s alcohol-related. We’re very much concerned with the safety of the students.”

Oakwood police, Sinclair Community College police, UD police, Dayton Police, as well as prosecutors and judges from the Dayton municipal courts and from the court of police, will all be present for St. Patrick’s Day this year, to ensure that they’re all “on the same page,” Burt said.

The university has also asked student organizations to reschedule or relocate events that involve outside visitors. Schramm said in response to a question asking about student organizations that have events with outside visitors during this time. “This is in order to maintain safety and keep parking in order.” “We’ve either asked them to relocate or have it another weekend.”

To summarize the point of the entire meeting, Fischer made one final proclamation: “Here’s my advice. Don’t host a party that you can’t control.”

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