UMass warns students of “Barney Blowout” Consequences

The administration at the University of Massachusetts, is gearing up for this year’s annual “Blarney Blowout,” expected to take place on March 8, by taking measures in anticipation of the celebration! On Monday, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Enku Gelaye, sent out an email reminding students that it is not an university sanctioned event.

This year, police will have “an increased presence throughout town and will address any potentially threatening situations swiftly and definitively, up to and including arrest,” the email read. The UMass Police Department has assigned officers to manage crowds or disturbances.

Several possible consequences, were stated in the email, for students found in violation of the University Code of Student Conduct; including parental notifications for first time alcohol offenses, a seven-year disciplinary record, a $100-$175 referral fee to BASICS if the incident is alcohol-related and potential suspension, expulsion or eviction from campus housing!

The “Halfway to Blarney Blowout” event held in September, led to bars filling up and several parties in apartment complexes, including the Townehouse Apartments and Hobart Lane.

In a press release also published Monday, Gelaye said, “We are acutely aware of the strain that unruly off-campus behavior puts on the community and we are taking decisive action to discourage gatherings such as the Blarney Blowout.”

Last year’s Blowout led to six arrests and the hospitalization of several people. Two of the students arrested allegedly assaulted police officers. Among other arrests, a total of 25 people were charged with being minors in possession of alcohol and violating the town’s open container laws.