This piece was an assignment for an Intro to Media Writing course. The assignment was to report and write a print news story about something happening on campus or around town.
On Saturday, March 12, lower Thames will be decked out in green and gold. The 60th Annual Newport, Rhode Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will run from Newport City Hall all the way down Thames Ave. The parade will begin at 11:00 and run for about two hours, followed by event hosted by local restaurants and communities. This year is unique because it will be the first time in ten years that students from Salve Regina University will all be on campus for the event.
In preparation for the event, the Salve Regina community has taken steps to inform its students and educate them on how to stay safe during the busy weekend. The Student Government Associate ran the forum titled “Respect the Blue While Wearing Green: What Not to Do if You Get Arrested on St. Patrick’s Day.”
According to Assistant Dean of Students, Jen Jensen, students’ conduct during the parade has not been a concern being that the students are usually on spring break leaving the residence halls empty. Jensen comments that this year there will be roughly 1800 more Salve Regina students in Newport, compared to the typical 200.
James Mournighan is the director of residence life and off campus housing at Salve Regina, and he spoke at the forum in regards to student conduct policies and how to handle dangerous situations, including alcohol poisoning, that may arise. Mournighan said that the university has been preparing their students and residence advisors in order to get information out ahead of time.
The Director of Salve Regina Safety and Security, Mike Caroulo said that the expectations of students on the parade weekend will not be any different than that of any other. “This is a family tradition, this parade. We want everyone to come out. We aren’t trying to deter people from coming to the parade. It really does come down to safety. We want people to have a good time, we want people to enjoy themselves” Caroulo said.
During the forum, Caroulo along with Richard Piaseczynski from the Office of Safety and Security, discussed how to conduct yourself if you find yourself in handcuffs during the parade. Caroulo said “it is important to understand the zero tolerance policies in place in Newport, the problems that we’ve had and the consequences that result from engaging in illegal activity, so we think that its an educational opportunity for everyone as well to understand the consequences if they do choose to partake in illegal activity. “
Based on the statistics provided, typically there have been 10-15 Salve Regina students in conduct violations during the parade. According to Caroulo and Piaseczynski, it is inevitable that a student is going to have some communication or interaction with the police. “We’ve done a lot of pre-education for this and just because it’s been so long since we’ve had students been on campus during this parade. That’s why we try to out there, go to the houses, and get the word out there so everyone knows what to expect and so no one gets in trouble,” said Piaseczynski.