After a week of remaining largely silent, President Michael Roth and Connecticut Science Center administrators have commented on last Friday’s senior event, which ended early due to raucous behavior and has since garnered widespread media attention.
“Students arrived around 7:30,” Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Science Center Tracy Shirer said. “And [both parties] came to a mutual agreement that the event end early. Once we did shut it down everyone complied.”
The University released a statement about the event on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
“University staff assisted at the event, which was terminated early because of unacceptable behavior by some of the students who attended,” the statement reads. “We are deeply disappointed by the problematic behavior and apologize to the staff at the Connecticut Science Center.”
According to the statement, disciplinary action will be taken.
“The University will discipline students identified as having been engaged in inappropriate behavior, and the administration is working with senior class officers to reevaluate plans for future events in light of this incident,” the statement reads.
Roth also expressed disappointment in the actions of students at the Science Center.
“I would add [to the University’s statement that] it’s embarrassing,” he said. “You think things are going well, and students are learning, engaging, and participating in society, and then some people act like tiny children who have been injected with strange substances.”
The incident has received media attention in online publications such as Business Insider, the Daily Beast, The Hartford Courant, and Barstool Sports.
The Connecticut Science Center has declined to comment on exactly what events occurred on Feb. 15, though media sources and students report drug use and sex in museum bathrooms, spilt beverages, vomit, and one student allegedly climbing an animatronic dinosaur.
Roth said that the blame should not lie with the University or the Senior Class Officers.
“I find the discourse around blaming the University or the Senior Class Officers who are taking students to a nice place… degrading to the students themselves and to the entire institution,” he said. “The irresponsible behavior of people who are of age who can’t hold their liquor or think it’s really funny at that age to act like high school or middle school students is pathetic, and I do hope we find out who some of them were, so we can suspend them or take other actions that would be appropriate.”
Wesleying stated that they obtained access to the Science Center’s incident report and posted part of it on the blog.
“Wesleyan student removed from the 6th floor for riding the dinosaur,” the report listed. “Wesleyan student fell down the up escalator. And continued falling as if in a perpetual motion machine.”
One woman who used the username Mary Hildegrove and who claimed to be one of the bus drivers for the event commented on the WTNH article, describing her take on the night.
“I was one of the 14 bus drivers who had to drive them, and they were totally out of control when leaving the Science Center,” Hillgrove wrote. “It was a scary night for sure. So glad we got them back safely.”
Luke Wherry ’13 said he didn’t realize anything out of the ordinary had happened that night and expressed regret about the incident.
“I wasn’t aware of anything going on and was surprised that we had to leave early,” Wherry wrote in a message to The Argus. “[Not until] I read the reports in Wesleying did I become aware of what happened. I think it’s sad that the poor actions of a few people affected the whole class and the way the class was received.”
According to Roth, although the entire class did not act inappropriately, the few students who did have harmed the reputation of the University.
“I realize that it’s a minority of the students, and yet all the students and the whole institution is tarnished with this embarrassment…. When something like this happens it is really disheartening,” Roth stated.
Additional reporting by Executive Editor Anna Susman.