Winter Weekend is not a concern according to campus officials

Winter Weekend 2013 is approaching and for some it could raise some issues on public safety for students and the surrounding community.

Winter Weekend is an event that allows students to participate in different team oriented events and win prizes during the cold winter months. For some, it raises issues of safety, whether it is on-or off-campus, but university officials assure safety is not a concern.

“Winter Weekend really depends on the level of involvement, from year to year it has taken many shapes,” Dr. Mark Allen, dean of Student Affairs, said. “In terms of safety and crime issues there is no more than one would deal with.”
The events comprised in Winter Weekend have changed from over the years. Many of the safety concerns could be attributed to off campus parties that are held by students.

“That is certainly not an activity encouraged by either the sponsors of Student Government or the institution.”

According to Residence Life, students living on campus should not have a safety concern when it comes to Winter Weekend.

“The reason why we have these on-campus activities is to foster that positive competition and get students together,” Elizabeth Swantek, director of Residence Life, said.

Swantek said that there is a Student Affairs representative on call at all times and the calls received are no different than any other weekend.

Allen says that the issue of on-campus safety could come with students coming on campus that have been participating in off-campus events and bringing the behavior on campus.

“It is dealt with; we certainly do not turn a blind eye to the law or school policies because of Winter Weekend,” Allen said.

Allen said Student Affairs hasn’t experienced any problems or concerns when it comes with Winter Weekend safety.

“We have increased our security, in contract with Wilkes-Barre police department for off-duty officers since early fall,” Allen said. “We feel it is adequate for the weekend or any other weekend.”

A request for interview with Jerry Rebo, manager of Public Safety, was not returned.

Allen also said that the university works with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department if there are any issues with off-campus activities and will issue their own investigation if the problem arises.

Winter Weekend will be held Feb. 15-16. This year’s theme is “Comic Book Heroes and Villains.”

A list of the latest campus crime statistics, including those related to alcohol, can be found here