May the weekend go on

Matthew Fortin

[media-credit id=2242 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]College students across the country are flocking to sun (and alcohol) soaked “darties” (“day” plus “party” equals darty) in celebration of the springtime weather. And Quinnipiac Bobcats are certainly no exception.

This past weekend marked what is affectionately referred to as May Weekend, a two day period where drinking before noon seems to become acceptable, and procrastinating on final projects is encouraged.

From frat parties to Toad’s, all the Hamden area hot spots were buzzing with QU students.

Many students seemed to be in agreement that this past May Weekend was one for the books, providing a much-needed relief from the looming anxiety that comes with the end of the semester.

Julianna Noce, a third year student in the doctorate of physical therapy program, explained that her and her friends attended the on-campus Senior Barbeque on Sunday morning to do just that- get their minds off of final exams.

“It was just good to take a break from whatever we were doing on a Sunday and have some fun with friends,” Noce said. “People were just taking a break from studying, and of course there were other things going on, but that was just something mellow for the Sunday before finals.”

And although Noce said that attendance was a little on the sparse side- “It was pretty quiet,”- the many attractions kept her and her friends entertained. Accommodations included yard games like ladder ball, frisbee, and KanJam, along with a beer tent for those students who were of age.

While Quinnipiac Residential Life and Student Programming Board did provide several on-campus events for students such as Senior Barbeque, it was truly the off campus parties that had Bobcats talking the most.

For Jake Houthuysen, an athletic training physical therapy major, this was his first go around at a Quinnipiac May Weekend. The freshman says he didn’t really know what to expect.

“I hadn’t realized how big the weekend actually was,” Houthuysen said. “I’ve only seen videos, and that picture of Commons destroyed. I really didn’t know what was going to happen, and it was awesome.”

Houthuysen detailed his experience at a massive darty behind a fraternity house, one he describes as a ‘really cool first experience.’

“It was just so awesome,” Houthuysen said. “One of the cops outside called it ‘indescribable.’”

While May Weekend certainly is a much needed break from a college level workload, for some students it proved to be a hindrance to their studies.

“Everyone was hanging out and having fun (at the house party),” freshman psychology and criminal justice double major Emily Maguire said. “And then, everyone went to Toad’s, but I was like ‘Nah, I’m going to take a nap!’ I had a lot of homework to do on Sunday. But, I didn’t do it. I slept. I am now very behind.”

And for others, it was that impending finals season that held them back from partaking in all of this past weekend’s festivities.

“I had three tests Monday, so I had to study most of the weekend,” sophomore entry-level master’s physician assiasnt major Dylan Latella said. “But, I went to the Alpha Phi Omega formal, and right before that I went to go see Marvel Infinity War. Saturday night I just hung out with some friends in Village. Nothing crazy.”

Latella may not have done anything too crazy this past weekend, but the same cannot be said for everyone. May Weekend has developed something of a reputation for drunken misadventures. Accordingly, an increased presence of law enforcement is easily observed.

Students reported feeling safe, and despite those watchful eyes, not overwhelmed or nervous around the presence of law enforcement- whether that be the Hamden Police Department or Quinnipiac Public Safety.

Freshman business major Aidan Spearman, said he noticed right away that Public Safety was taking a laid back approach to handling the annual throwdown.

“I was really pleased with how Public safety was so lenient,” Spearman said. “That was really nice to see, that they weren’t on top of everyone.”

Houthuysen agreed with Spearman, explaining that Public Safety was very understanding of what the weekend meant for the Quinnipiac student body.

“They were monitoring more, but they understood what was happening,” Houthuysen observed. “If you were walking down the hallway with a Gatorade bottle, they didn’t question it. They just said, have fun, be safe. Enjoy your weekend. I think that was really big of them. They would obviously do their job if they had to, but if someone’s just having a fun time, they didn’t go out of their way to get you in trouble, because they understood what kind of weekend it was.”

Perhaps Public Safety’s cool approach to all things May Weekend come directly from the top; university President John Lahey has been known to make appearances at parties from time to time. He made national headlines in 2015 after crashing an off campus May Weekend darty.

“I want you to know that I outlawed May Weekend 15 years ago, but apparently the message hasn’t gotten out,” Lahey said into a microphone projecting to a crowd of hundreds of Bobcats. And you guys are living proof that May Weekend still exists. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.”

Needless to say, residents of Hamden were none to pleased at the President’s remarked, who would go on to issue an apology.

And while some students speculated that Lahey would make an appearance this year for his final year as president, he was not to be seen during the entirety of the weekend.

Regardless, students were able to enjoy a couple of days’ relief from this stressful time of year.

“There were good vibes,” Maguire said. “There were a lot of people having fun. There was a really good turn out, and it was chill.”