University against senior week annual ‘pub crawl’

Maria Brachelli

As the waning spring semester leads into the days before Commencement, local authorities are asking the entire Villanova student body to celebrate the warm weather, the end of classes and the end of collegiate careers with decorum and good taste.

In particular, University administrators ask that students avoid the traditional “pub crawl,” which they say can be damaging to students if they choose the wrong celebratory measures and act in a manner that causes a criminal record or ineligibility for graduation.

“Our students aren’t bad students; we have 6,100 students, and on any one day, they do a lot of good,” said Dean of Students Paul Pugh.

However, in past years, several have been cited for actions such as harassing residents, publicly urinating and vandalizing property in the streets. Pugh warns that seniors caught by local police will most likely be “arrested and cited, need to post bail right then and there, and then consequently, have a criminal record.”

Pugh said students need not turn to negative activities during their final days here. “There are many fun activities that the University sponsors, such as the Senior Dinner Dance in Atlantic City, a trip to Six Flags and Dave & Busters,” he said.

Local residents, taverns and police forces are all aware of the semester’s ending and the unofficial “crawl” events. They pointed out that managing fines, citations, arrests and court dates right after graduation when seniors are moving back home or relocating for new jobs could be very inconvenient.

“Violations for quality of life issues have been targeted by our officers,” Lt. John Dougherty of the Lower Merion police force said. Specifically, he said, these include “disorderly conduct, public intoxication, criminal mischief and open container violations.”

Furthermore, the local authorities plan to “utilize various patrol techniques such as directed patrols, to address any problems in the area during this time period,” Dougherty said.  

 “We will utilize both uniformed and plain clothes officers which will include members of ourBike Unit along with personnel working on our ‘Cops in Shops’ program to address problems. We will also have agents from the state Liquor Control Enforcement Agency at various liquor establishments to ensure compliance with the various liquor laws.”

“It’s not a threat; I just don’t want students to ruin what opportunities they and their families have,” Pugh said. “It’s just a great week.”

“I really applaud the students from last year. The self-named ‘pub crawl’ was not a big deal – we only had one major citation for public urination,” Pugh added. “I think students are finding a lot of activities that are more productive and not embarrassing for the Villanova community. Students can really have a celebratory time without putting themselves in jeopardy.