UD spring break, housing rules aim to prevent St. Patrick’s Day trouble

FILE: Police in riot gear dispersed a large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street in Dayton during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Saturday March 17, 2018. Steve Maguire/Staff

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FILE: Police in riot gear dispersed a large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street in Dayton during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Saturday March 17, 2018. Steve Maguire/Staff

The University of Dayton’s spring break and housing rules will make it more difficult for students to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on campus this year.

UD is sending students on spring break for St. Patrick’s Day and the school has implemented a strict set of housing rules in an attempt to avoid the debauchery that ensued last year.

UD classes will resume at 8 a.m. the day after the holiday and students will not be permitted to move back into campus housing until 3 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, according to an email sent out this week. The rules surrounding the holiday come a year after students caused a disturbance on the holiday, with some throwing beer bottles and other objects at police as they tried to disperse crowds blocking a street.

» WATCH: Police body camera footage shows chaos at UD on St. Patrick’s Day

“Because of the dangerous situation that happened on St. Patrick’s Day last year, the university felt moving the move-in time to 3 p.m. would create a safer environment for our returning students and their families,” UD officials said in a prepared statement.

Students who arrive before 3 p.m. March 17 will not be permitted back into UD housing and should make other arrangements, according to the school. The procedures for move in and move out days UD creates for winter, spring and summer recesses are “specific to each break,” according to the school.

For spring break, which starts March 8, students can remain on campus if they have an internship or co-op in town, if they have a job nearby that employs them for at least 20 hours a week or if they are part of a sports team that is competing or training at the time, according to the school.

Students with a home more than 400 miles from UD can also apply to live on campus during spring break.

That 400-mile radius would mean no students from Ohio could reside at UD during that time. The distance requires students who are from as far west as St. Louis, Missouri and as far south as Chattanooga, Tennessee to leave campus for break.

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St. Patrick’s Day is often a closely watched day at UD after years where students and partiers caused disturbances. The university has dealt with a series of major St. Patrick’s Day disturbances dating back to the early 1980s. In 1993, UD scheduled spring break to include the March 17 holiday, according to Dayton Daily News reports at the time.

Last year, Students on Lowes Street reportedly threw objects at police, shot fireworks into crowds of people and by 6:30 p.m., officers arrived in riot gear and ordered partiers indoors, though many at first ignored those commands.

Though less violent and disruptive, the 2018 incidents served as a reminder of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day campus riot.

More than 1,000 people rioted in UD's student neighborhood in 2013, leaving broken bottles and damaged cars, including a police cruiser, in their wake on Kiefaber Street. Law enforcement from 10 jurisdictions responded to the riot five years ago.

The holiday is always a factor in when to schedule spring break and because of Saturday’s incidents it likely will remain one, vice president for student development Bill Fischer said last March.

“That is an option that we are carefully looking at in the future, as well as other options…to avoid the escalation of this type of situation,” Fischer said. “So, all of this is on the table for further discussion.”


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