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Task force formed to review University Weekend
July 27, 1998

In response to the problems of this year's University Weekend, Chancellor Mark Emmert has named a 12-member committee to develop ideas for preventing future problems and to explore ways to develop a more cohesive campus community.

The Special Task Force on Community and Civility is charged with reviewing what led up to the April weekend, the actions during it and the fallout afterward.

Nearly 90 people, including about 40 UConn students, were arrested during the four days of partying - April 23-26 - at the event formerly known as Spring Weekend.

The committee will also look at the broader context of the campus community.

In a letter to the newly named committee members, Emmert called for suggestions for the future of University Weekend, "keeping in mind that the University will not condone or sanction any activities which threaten the safety of students, staff, neighbors, and public safety personnel."

Vice Chancellor Vicky Triponey, chair of the task force, said she expects the group, which will begin work as the summer progresses, to make recommendations by December.

But first, the committee needs to take a more general look at UConn, said Triponey. "We need to step back from University Weekend and take a look at our whole campus culture."

Members of the task force are:

  • Students
  • Alyssa Benedict, student trustee (co-chair)
  • Liz Ehrhardt, president, Undergraduate Student Government
  • Laura Furdon, president, Student Union Board of Governors
  • Josh Ruminski, resident adviser, orientation leader, former president of Interfraterity Council
  • Faculty
  • John Bennett, associate professor, mechanical engineering, and director, First Year Experience
  • Janine Caira, professor, ecology and evolutionary biology, and University teaching fellow
  • Peter Halvorson, professor, geography, and chair, University Senate Executive Committee (co-chair)
  • Cyrus (Ernie) Zirakzadeh, professor, political science, and former director, honors program
  • Staff
  • Sgt. Rhoda Averna, University police
  • Catherine Cocks, residence hall director
  • Angela Rola, director, Asian American Cultural Society
  • Artie Travis, director, student activities and union programs, and University Senate representative to the trustee student affairs committee.
  • Ex Officio
  • Ron Schurin, executive assistant to the president, executive secretary to the Board of Trustees
  • Vicky Triponey, vice chancellor for student affairs (chair)