I was outraged to see the impact of the so-called Blarney Blowout on our campus and community this weekend. Despite our best efforts over the past week to inform our students of the consequences of unruly alcohol-fueled behavior, by midday yesterday there had already been dozens of arrests and numerous large gatherings broken up. It was a sad and difficult day for our campus and for the town of Amherst.
I want to make it unequivocally clear that the University of Massachusetts Amherst condemns the outrageous behavior of those students who acted out without any regard for public safety and the community in which they live. They have brought shame on our fine university and run the risk of devaluing the college degree that all of our students work so hard to achieve.
We acknowledge the strain that this weekend’s disturbances place on the town, and first responders in particular. We are also deeply disturbed that our neighbors in the vicinity of these events were forced to endure such scenes. There is no excuse for this type of alcohol-fueled behavior, and I want to assure both the town and the campus that we will take steps to address this incident.
My administration will redouble its efforts to work with the campus community and the town to avert future episodes like the one we just witnessed. We will also take swift action to address any violations of the Code of Student Conduct, whether on or off campus, resulting from this weekend’s disturbances. There will be consequences for those found to be responsible.
No doubt there are difficult conversations that lie ahead concerning student behavior, alcohol and civility, but I have no doubt that, working together, we can build the kind of community in which we all want to live.