As the annual Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade approaches, The University prepares to close down for spring break and prepare for Parade Day festivities.
In an email sent out to students on Feb. 20, The University restated its policies surrounding Parade Day and the spring break closing of The University.
“Some activities that surround Parade Day, especially in the Hill Section, reflect a culture in which many who participate, including University students and their guests, engage in high-risk behaviors,” Anitra McShea, Vice-Provost of Student Formation and Campus Life, wrote.
“Given the serious risks associated with all of these behaviors, the City of Scranton, law enforcement and the University have agreed to act jointly and pro actively to ensure that the entire Parade Day celebration is as safe as possible.”
Over spring break, only graduate students and seniors over 21 may request permission to remain in on-campus housing, according to an email from the Office of Residence Life. All other students must be off campus by 8 p.m. Friday. McShea was unable to meet for an in person interview.
McShea stated in an e-mail interview that closing the campus over break greatly reduced the number of incidents.
“In 2015, University Police ‘calls for service’ decreased by an average of 70% when the University instituted these steps.
Likewise, guest issues were reduced to zero and student violations of the Code of Conduct on campus were very few. Predictably, numbers are higher when the University is in session over Parade Weekend,” McShea wrote.
For those graduate students and seniors who remain on campus, additional rules will be in place. Over spring break, on-campus residents are not allowed to host guests, which includes both University students and non-University visitors.
The campus’s closing mirrors that of spring break 2015, where the University closed the dorms over break and imposed similar rules on those who stayed. However, in 2016, the dorms remained open over break, due to the spring and Easter breaks of that year being combined.
“This year is like 2015 in that the Spring Break and Easter holidays are separate on the school calendar,” McShea wrote.
The Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins Saturday and housing for The University closes Friday and reopens on March 19.