Published: March 17, 2016
Here at The University, there are a few events that get mostly the entire student body excited. The first is Midnight Madness. Midnight Madness unites the students into one body and creates a feeling of camaraderie between all the Royals, new and old. Then there is SpringFest. SpringFest celebrates the eternal Scranton winter ending, and it welcomes the spring to The University.
But there is one event that supersedes all. This event not only unites the students at The University but also brings out the best in the city of Scranton itself. This day is called Parade Day.
Parade Day has different meanings to different people. To the new first-year student, Parade Day is a day that there is a big St. Patrick’s Day parade in the heart of Scranton. To the conditioned senior student, Parade Day may be a day to let loose and consume almost unhealthy amounts of alcoholic beverages. This unhealthy consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to some actions that are looked down upon and may affect the reputation of both The University and the surrounding area.
This year, Parade Day was nothing different. The streets were a sea of different shades of green shirts, and students were dancing to the latest hit party songs. Unfortunately, the more alcohol that is involved, the greater the chance that something bad is going to happen.
University Police Chief Donald Bergmann said this Parade Day produced fewer incidents than in past years.
“The activities in the hill were bigger than usual, more students than I typically see, and less incidents,” Bergmann said.
More students attended Parade Day likely because of student housing being open this year as opposed to last year when students were forced to leave Parade Day weekend leading into spring break.
Bergmann attributes the low incident rate to two main causes. The first, is that the Center for Student Engagement and Campus Life has been reaching out to the off-campus community. He says that they are meeting with students and letting the students know of the responsibilities they have when hosting social gatherings and what the consequences could be. He also attributes the low incident rates to the high police presence and the fact that students are becoming more responsible.
“I think the culture off campus is just changing for the better,” Bergmann said. “I think that students
are more cognizant of what they have to do to be responsible off campus, and they’re just, for the most part, being proactive.”
Both University and Scranton police are used to Parade Day and everything surrounding it. They address the usual problems.
“People on the roof, open container, underage drinking problems (and) assaults” are some of the main problems on Parade Day, Bergmann said.
Although there were fewer incidents overall during the celebration, a massive fight broke out on Clay Avenue midday.
A video of this fight, which seems to have been recorded on a mobile phone, has gone semi-viral on the Internet. Facebook pages have posted and reposted this video, which begins with a few women just trying to back away from each other. Fists start flying, and then the crowd begins an all-out brawl on the front lawn of an off-campus house on Clay Avenue.
Currently, the fight is being investigated by the Scranton Police Department. Since the fight occurred off campus, University Police are not responsible for investigating it. Although the fight was dangerous, there were fewer incidents than normal.
“This incident was unfortunate…” Bergmann said.
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