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UAlbany President Suspends Annual Fountain Day Event

University urges students to focus on upholding university's reputation

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 20, 2011) -- President George M. Philip announced today the University at Albany will suspend its annual spring event, Fountain Day, scheduled for April 10. The event brings thousands of UAlbany students, faculty and staff together to celebrate spring and the turning on of the main campus fountain.The announcement comes a week after the Saturday, March 12th pre-St. Patrick Day events in the City of Albany where a number of UAlbany students were arrested for participating in destructive behavior. This action is one of a number of measures the University is undertaking to safeguard and protect UAlbany’s students and reputation.

In a letter to UAlbany students, President Philip said, "I regret that this action will punish students who had no role in the disturbing events of March 12. But the need to proactively respond and to uphold our reputation has never been greater. "

President Philip urged all UAlbany students to "work together during the next academic year to develop a spring event that can become a meaningful, safe and fun tradition."

Philip further explained, "While Fountain Day continues to be a source of school pride, there remains a contingent of students who use this day as an excuse to promote excessive alcohol consumption that compromises everyone's safety."

"This is a regrettable choice, but the right decision," Philip said in the letter. "There is much at stake here: your education, your future success, and the success of the University at Albany. We must stand together in our resolve to forge the future we envision together."

The University at Albany’s main fountain is scheduled to undergo major reconstruction some time next year and is not expected to be fully operational until spring 2014.

UAlbany is taking additional steps to curb future pre-St. Patrick’s Day disturbances and to improve off-campus safety. The University will be modifying the 2011-12 academic calendar to move winter break from late February to mid-March, which includes St. Patrick’s Day next year. In addition, the University is continuing to partner with the College of St. Rose, the City of Albany, and the Capital District Transportation Committee through a jointly supported initiative entitled the Education District Enhancement Study, which is focused on creating a safe and welcoming community environment.

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