Normally, snow days are a time for students to relax, catch up on work and maybe hang out with friends for a bit. However, the joyous emotions that normally accompany a snow day were for the most part swept away in The University community when every student received a surprise notice that non-seniors would not be allowed to stay on campus for Parade Day 2015.
As someone who was immediately curious about how students would respond, I went onto Twitter, where I found countless messages of outrage regarding this new policy and attitude toward Parade Day.
As someone who tries to understand every point of view in a situation, I tried to put myself in The University’s shoes. I do understand that members of the administration are concerned about our safety and that they don’t want underage students drinking during Parade Day; however, by doing this the administration makes Parade Day seem like only a giant drinking event, which in my opinion could not be further from the truth. Yes, there are many students who use Parade Day as an excuse to engage in risky behaviors, but there is also a large group that uses it as a way to celebrate Irish culture in America.
This is something personal to me since I come from an Irish family. It really disappointed me to see that The University’s policy on Parade Day was basically a complete flip from years past. I actually think that this move, while done partially in the name of student safety, will cause students to be less safe if they choose to stay in Scranton for the day since they won’t be able to go back to the residence halls.
Also, I feel like this policy indicates that The University does not trust us as students to be on our best behavior, and if they don’t trust us, then how can they ask us to trust them?
On Parade Day this year, I will be 21 and therefore legally able to drink; however, it has now become that much harder for me to use that privilege on a day that I’ve been looking forward to all year. I’ll either have to stay at someone’s off-campus house or try to get a relative in the area to pick me up just to enjoy a day that is central to the culture of not only this city, but my family heritage.
So even though I know my voice may not be heard, I implore The University to revisit this policy, especially for students over 21.
I believe this is the best way to ensure the safety of The University’s students and to celebrate the Irish culture that is so important to this city and the people who live here.