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TELL US: What Did You Think of Tuesday's Forum on Police Services?

Some UConn students spoke out last night, but Patch wants to know how you feel about the issue!

Nearly two dozen students gathered Tuesday at the UConn Student Union Theatre as University of Connecticut Police Chief Barbara O’Connor and Mansfield Resident State Trooper Sgt. Richard Cournoyer led a forum on police services and campus safety.

Students engaged in conversation with public officials on topics ranging from the decriminalization of marijuana to UConn Spring Weekend to the latest hot topic - Carriage House Apartments.

Following last night's conversation, students who spoke with Mansfield-Storrs Patch said overall, they were pleased with the event.

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“I think any time that we can really engage students in conversation is very beneficial for the entire population we have in Storrs,” Syed Naqvi, a UConn senior and chief of staff of Undergraduate Student Government (USG) said following the forum.

Jigish Patel, a UConn senior, and vice president of USG, said talks between students and public safety officials were encouraging.

“This will increase the communication between students who are on campus and police,” Patel said. “This kind of sets the dialogue," he said, adding, "This isn’t the ending point; this is the starting point."

UConn Sophomore Ben Ouellette said he too hoped the positive conversations could continue.

“I think that it’s great that the police want to come out and interact with us,” Ouellette said. "If we can continue to build on this, we can have more students participate and go from there,” he said.

Couldn't make Tuesday's forum? Mansfield-Storrs Patch wants to know what you think about police services as it concerns the campus community. How do you view your relationship with the town's public safety officials? What do you think about the police presence at Carriage House? Is it needed? Has it helped? Is UConn ready for a revised version of Spring Weekend? 

Please share your thoughts with your friends and neighbors in the comments section below. And be sure to check back with Mansfield-Storrs Patch for more on last night's meeting.

Sean Mansfield October 10, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I think it had good intentions but the police were far too close minded in the discussion. I live in carriage and its not the fact that we can't party as hard any more I just dislike constant surveillance. The guest rule is a violation of our right to peaceably assemble. One of the students had a good point in saying that now that people cannot go to carriage they have to go farther off campus, leading to the temptation of drunk driving, the officers weren't hearing it saying that if someone will drunk drive, they're going to do it one way or another regardless of if they need to drive off campus. The student suggested "corralling" the students into carriage would make enforcement easier, but Sgt Cournoyer said "What if you were sitting across from someone whose son or daughter was assaulted in carriage how could you say that we should continue to corale people into it? It would only make the assault seem unreacted to (this is not a direct quote but very close)." My reaction to this is what makes an off campus party any less likely for assault to happen? It is just as likely and if it happens in Carriage at least the police are within earshot to make sure the injury is minimal. If a young freshman female student is given a ride to an off campus party that is not within walking distance and cannot find a ride home and opts to stay at the house of the party because she cannot walk home wouldn't that be an opportunity for sexual assault that wouldn't be present at Carriage?
Ticked-off Townie October 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Mr. Mansfield: For starters, the guest rule does not pertain to the First Amendment. The owners of private property may set their own rules making the First Amendment a moot point. I recommend that you re-examine the position the State Police are in when they are at or called to Carriage House apartments. If the behavior of the residents at Carriage House was responsible, the Police would not be requested to monitor the complex. Instead, the property owners continue to request Police presence in order to keep the shenanigans to a minimum. How does that reflect the actions of the residents there? Inappropriate, insubordinate more often than not, and disrespectful of their neighborhood in general. Grow up and behave yourselves. Carriage House Apartments are one of the reasons the nuisance ordinance went into effect last year.
Sean Mansfield October 10, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Hiding behind a fake name is a topic for another time. Considering I pay for the apartment and it is my living space I would say the first amendment is far from a “moot point.” You want all the benefits of a college town without the drawbacks; we've been here since 1881. I am not saying the police should stay out of Carriage that would obviously create an unsafe condition for everyone. Before replying to this post please re-read my initial post you seem to have gotten aggravated and read through it rather quickly without seeing my points. Have you personally ever spent a weekend night at Carriage in the last 3 weeks? In that time only residents have been allowed in with the exception of their 4 guests. You say, "How does that reflect the actions of the residents there? Inappropriate, insubordinate more often than not, and disrespectful of their neighborhood in general. Grow up and behave yourselves." Well if we look at the last 3 weeks when only residents are allowed in, nothing has happened I'm not sure how the residents can be blamed for what went on in Carriage. You say, “grow up and behave yourselves” this is kind of like me saying, “All year round Mansfield residents are lazy old people who hate fun.” CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
Sean Mansfield October 10, 2012 at 09:09 PM
A bit of a generalization considering I personally have never been arrested or even pulled over, in addition to the fact that I am an active duty Nuclear Propulsion Petty Officer first class in the United States Navy. I digress. My point being is if you, who I am assuming has always been of the highest level of maturity and never waivered, had done nothing wrong and had a police cruiser with lights on sitting 10-12 feet from your back door 3/7 nights of the week would that not make you uncomfortable? Please pay close attention to what I say here: We both have valid points and I would like this to be a mature discussion, please only make factual statements and avoid insulting my intelligence, or make pointed generalizations insulting others affiliated with the University.
No more fun October 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Butts Hurtington III
Kaptainsteve October 10, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Sean, you are going to school for a reason. Keep going. You need your education. You claim that the 1st Amendment is pertinent to your situation. It isn't. The OWNERS of the property can make and enforce any rules they please and when you sign the lease, you agree to these terms. The 1st Amendment clearly says "CONGRESS shall make no law..." Congress means the CONGRESS of the U.S.A., not Carriage House or your landlord. In fact, the original meaning of the 1st Amendment meant that states could legally deprive citizens of freedom of speech and religion, but this was altered with the 14th Amendment, and that's another story. And about you paying taxes... Hmmmmmmm, I wonder. Are YOU paying taxes or are your parents? Are you paying with your apartment with YOUR money you earned from YOUR job or did you get a FEDERAL grant or a FEDERALLY subsidized student loan that the taxes of others financed? Finally, will you live in Mansfield AFTER you graduate, or is it just a pitstop in your life and if it is a pitstop in your life, why should ANYONE care what you think when you only intend on copping your degree and fleeing? You see, your interests are not really the same as Mansfield's interests. You are just passing through and you have no real vested commitment to Mansfield. Living in Mansfield, you know who throws the trash in your yard and smashes your mailbox and fences down during spring break & who pays for the extra police demand during spring break too.
CT State Lawyer October 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM
The First Amendment is a basic right, and it is true that it does not necessarily pertain to private property. However, unless it is explicitly stated in the terms within the lease the the renters sign, the "guest rule" technically need not be adhered to. "Mr. Mansfield" does make very valid points. Assault, etc. is going to occur on a large university campus one way or another. Having a set boundary would be much more beneficial and efficient in terms or prevention, control, and cost effectiveness. If students are shunned away from "Carriage House" they are bound to end up elsewhere. This, in turn, would cost the town much more in order to pay for the distribution of officers to more sporadic locations. In addition, the social gatherings would end up being increasingly closer in proximity to a greater scale of Mansfield residents. Have one loud gathering area, personally, sounds like less of a nuisance than many house parties up close and personal to the town residents. I agree with "Townie" that it would be nice for these students to "grow up and behave themselves" however, that is a very unrealistic outcome. It is a state university, and this is how a majority of all state funded institutions are. It sounds like it is not the irresponsible behavior of the residents in the aforementioned apartments, but of the general populace of the school that congregates there. Just my two-scense.
Sean Mansfield October 10, 2012 at 10:22 PM
KaptainSteve. I am self sufficient as a result of my career in the military, I pay taxes, I am a registered Mansfield Voter, ETC, Unfortunately you're right, this is a pitstop in considering upon graduation I will be sent to OCS then deployed for 4 years minimum. But besides that I never mentioned anything about paying taxes, don't really know where that came from but as they say the only things you have to do in life are pay taxes and die. You do have a point, my salary comes from the taxes of others. I don't really know where you're going with that though I made my commitment to the military what does it matter where my salary comes from? You say, "Are you paying with your apartment with YOUR money you earned from YOUR job or.." The key word here is "earned" you proved my point. In addition if congress made a law allowing landlords to limit their guests would that not be a violation of the amendment? My commitment to Mansfield? Could be the copious amounts of money I spend in local businesses or my tuition. Spring break and Spring weekend are two different things. Since the de-escalation committee has been in place there has been little to no reported damage, citing this website. I can understand you all want a nice peaceful town but you do need to realize there are 15,000 students in a 45.5 square mile area. Things are going to get broken but enacting this martial law type system will only drive people away from the university, hurting your economy in the future.
Erik Damiani October 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Kaptainsteve you make it sound like people in college do not work and in essence pay taxes. Coming from somebody who just graduated from UCONN and has a full time job I find it a waste of resources and our tax dollars to have these police act as babysitters. Having 6-10 police officers stand in front of Carriage while getting paid overtime 3 nights a week hardly justifies the amount of money spent to do clerical work (checking id's). It was not until just this year that the police chief of UCONN was paid less than Ray Kelly of NYC. Are you kidding me! Somebody that is responsible for the safety of 8,000,000 people makes less than the police chief at a University in charge of 25,000. I know I'd rather see this money (our tax dollars) go to somebody who needs it. The nuisance law in itself is contradictory. First of all, laws already exist for all deviant behavior that goes on during these "gatherings". Do MIP, noise violations, public drunkenness and breach of peace ring a bell? Secondly, how broad is the word nuisance? Nuisance: something offensive or annoying to individuals or to the community, especially in violation of their legal rights. If I'm trying to sleep and somebody's car alarm is going off can I report them as a nuisance? People in college are going to drink, party and have a good time. The quicker people realize that the quicker people will stop doing stupid things if order to combat these one-sided rules.
Erik Damiani October 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM
They also pulled a quick one by doing this over the summer while the majority of students were not around to have a say in the matter.
Kaptainsteve October 11, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Good!
Joshua Goldstein October 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Great discussion! Having attended UCONN back in the '70's and having graduated with two degrees, in addition to having worked in Law Enforcement & the Criminal Justice System for over 30 yrs, I'd like to add my 2 cents....I digress for a moment: During my college days, the UCONN Police were more security guard-like than police, and they seem to manage the campus quite well. It was a time when kids were protesting the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, etc...as well as finding time to party, drink, and smoke dope and do all kinds of wild & crazy things on campus that kids do when they go away to college. The partying was fine...We even had two huge Panty Raids. I couldn't imagine today the UCONN Police allowing 300 males to march from North Eagleville Rd to Rt. 195 down to South Campus to do a panty raid....and then several days later to have the girls return the favor! We would ALL be arrested and having to appear in Rockville Superior Court PLUS facing some kind of disciplinary action from the Dean of Student Affairs! We had people 'streaking' (i.e. running around with no clothes). I remember sitting in the old College Theatre, which used to be where the CSE Credit Union is, and in the middle of the movie a kid 'STREAKED' across the stage with no clothes...everyone was stunned for a moment, then laughed...then went back to watching the movie. Guys put blow-up dolls in their dorm windows, sculpted giant penises in front of their dorms...things that would (con't)
Joshua Goldstein October 12, 2012 at 04:27 PM
(con't) probably not be tolerated by today's Police. I remember people being arrested; some being suspended while others were expelled for their behavior...but none for partying too much! I concur with the Police that when you're partying on private property, the owner of that property has the right to determine what is allowed & not allowed. From what I've read over the past few years, it seems that many of the parties, especially during Winter Weekend, were caused by outsiders...people who were not even students. It just seems to me that Sgt Cournoyer is right in that you have to be somewhat responsible for your actions when you're breaking stuff, destroying stuff, and when people are being physically assaulted. Therefore, it would appear that if you guys policed yourselves and made sure that anyone who seemed like they were going to act up were spoken with and controlled, the police would have less interference in your parties...and over time they might become a non-issue. Also, if you live around non-student residents of the town, you guys might take the time to talk with them, become neighborly, and see what their concerns are. Neighbors are less likely to call the police on someone they've talked with and who is acting within the parameters that were discussed. Lastly, panel discussions are good. It would be nice if the UCONN Police met with the Black Students to discuss their concerns as well. I heard some awful things about how some students have been mistreated.

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