St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities keep students safe, happy

By: Dominic Sanfilippo – Staff Writer

From the early hours on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day,  the University of Dayton’s campus was buzzing with activity. Footballs were thrown from house to house on Lowes Street, and music was filtering through open windows from Stuart Hill to Lawnview Avenue.

Large numbers of students celebrated the good weather by sitting on porches, playing corn hole in backyards and roaming the student neighborhood. UD Public Safety officers and university administrators were on hand in the neighborhood to ensure safety and order. Despite the crowds, the day was largely calm; a few students did report seeing paramedics tending to a young woman on Lowes late in the afternoon.

“It went as these things normally go, but decidedly safer,” junior English major Matthew Sullivan said. “We had fun without calling in the cavalry or destroying our community image. Thankfully, it appears we can all breathe a sigh of relief.”

On the 400 block of Lowes, smoke and charcoal wafted from a grill at the Student Government Association’s St. Patrick’s Day Cookout. A few intrepid members of SGA flipped burgers and hot dogs for hours as a large gathering of students chatted, danced and laughed in the mud around the grill.

“The cookout was a great success,” SGA president Sarah Dickson said. “We provided 400 hot dogs, 250 burgers and water to hungry students. We were happy to be able to give back in a way that students appreciate!”

Over on ArtStreet, service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega’s outdoor festival “A Gallery of HOPE” was in full swing for the entire afternoon. The proceeds which were around $1,700 are going to Dayton Public Schools.

“We had a good number of people coming in and out, enjoying all you can eat hot dogs for $5 as well as shows from the Irish Dance team, the UD Dance team, the tae kwon do club, [new a cappella group] the Audio Pilots and [UD band] David Devlin and the Washboards,” Bryan Kinch, a junior who helped organize the event said. “We also had a bunch of cool activities sponsored by different clubs around campus.”

“A Gallery of HOPE” was not the only festival on campus Saturday.

In the RecPlex, hundreds of UD students, faculty, staff, family and community members came together to celebrate our campus’ diversity at the International Festival.

The gym was bursting with bright colors, traditional music and striking smells. International and domestic students created table displays from their native countries or places they had studied abroad; some even sang, danced and performed on a large stage, as well.

“I was just happy to share my experience in Italy with all of the people who stopped at our table,”  Krista Bondi, a junior art history major who studied in Florence, Italy, last fall, said. “Overall, it was great to see a wide variety of cultures and traditions present.”

The athletic endeavors of the day were not limited to touch football and cornhole. Over on Stuart Field, UD’s rugby team soundly defeated Xavier’s squad 97-10. “We came out with the intensity and the fundamentals that we needed to continue our momentum from the fall into the first big game of the spring,” Andrew Collins, an inside center on the team and a junior business major, said. “It always is great to beat Xavier, too.”

To cap off the festivities, the men’s basketball team defeated Rhode Island to advance to the A-10 tournament championship game.

“Overall, we were happy with how the day went in the student neighborhood,”  Associate Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Christine Schramm said. “When students were approached by public safety, city of Dayton officers or administrators and asked to talk or break up a crowd, most students were very compliant and respectful. If Saturday’s festive yet respectful atmosphere continues into St. Patrick’s Day and the rest of the week, it will be great for students and for the university.”

Student organization led events and the student’s compliance with officials orders kept the festivities fun for those celebrating and kept everything from becoming detrimental to the community.