This week, we welcomed our new international students to the Grounds for the final Orientation session before Move-In Weekend. We are looking forward to all students being on the Grounds in the next few days for the start of the new year. It is always an exciting time as we begin a new chapter in the University's history.
These first few days before classes begin are busy, but they also offer a few moments for reflection about the upcoming year, the goals you have set for yourself, and how you would like the next few months to unfold. I recognize, too, that all of you who are returning students will want to celebrate being back with friends that you haven't seen for several months.
For several years, an informal block party on Wertland Street has become a magnet for many seeking to connect with others at the start of the academic year. While the event is not in any way affiliated with, or sanctioned by, the University, it has nonetheless become a great concern for many of us, given the increasing size of the crowd and the demonstrated potential for negative (and highly serious) incidents to occur. Sexual assault, dangerously crowded balconies, underage drinking, and other risks inherent in large crowds of individuals you do not know are all very real concerns.
Law enforcement will be increased in the Wertland area this year, and other public safety officials, including the Fire Marshal, will be present. If you do plan to attend this unsanctioned event, you should be aware of the legal risks associated with attending. Law enforcement will be focusing especially on underage possession of alcohol, public intoxication, open container violations, driving under the influence, and use of false identification. To more fully understand the legal risks, I encourage you to review this flier describing those risks and the consequences.
Instead of visiting Wertland Street on Saturday night, I hope you will look for other ways to celebrate safely with friends. As you probably have heard, many other activities will be taking place during Move-In Weekend, including the J. Cole concert on Saturday night as well as a host of other activities at the AFC and elsewhere. Your safety and well-being are a paramount concern to us.
I wish each of you the very best as you begin the new academic year.
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students