Police, University promise crawl crackdown

Andrea Wilson

The pub crawl, an annual senior week drinking tradition, will be the target of a major police crackdown this year.

The crawl “does not represent Villanova well,” Dean of Students Paul Pugh said.

The pub crawl, an unofficial event that involves a trail of celebratory drinking in bars around the community, typically leads to arrests and citations for disorderly conduct, underage drinking, public intoxication, public urination and vandalism during the week leading up to commencement.

While the police do not have firm knowledge of the pub crawl’s date, they plan to learn more as senior week approaches.

According to Lt. John Dougherty, police will be implementing a similar course of action as was used during the University’s Homecoming festivities in October, when over a hundred people were arrested for quality of life crimes.

The Lower Merion, Radnor and Haverford police plan to make their presence known with extra officers. Both uniformed and plain clothes officers will be on duty in the bars and on the streets. Police will also be monitoring establishments to ensure that they are not breaking the law by serving visibly intoxicated patrons.

Because many students reside out of the area and will likely be departing after graduation, local judges will be in court ready to take immediate legal action. Lawbreakers may have to pay a cash bail or face incarceration.

Dougherty said the Lower Merion police are not only concerned about the community, but also about the safety of the event’s participants. Last year, an alcohol-related car accident involving serious injuries occurred on the day of the crawl.

Citing last spring’s furniture-burning incident at the Courts, when three graduates were arrested on arson charges, Dougherty explained the danger involved when graduation celebrations get out of hand.

Since the University’s Code of Student Conduct applies to situations that occur both on and off campus, students who commit crimes not only face legal consequences but University repercussions as well.

Pugh explained that the joy of graduation could be spoiled by the need to withhold diplomas until the University addresses the violations.

Pugh and Dougherty both stressed the negative effects of a record on a student’s future.

“It’s not worth ruining the plans they’ve worked so hard for over the past four years,” Pugh said.

He also said the University is concerned that local merchants and residents will only see the negative actions of students, rather than their many positive achievements throughout the rest of the year.

“I want to steer students toward the good events that are planned,” Pugh said.

Among the University-endorsed events during senior week are a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, the Senior Dinner Dance in Atlantic City, N.J., a Phillies game and nights at both Brownies 23 East and Dave and Buster’s.