Bloomsburg, a Commonwealth University
Bloomsburg University and the Town of Bloomsburg Announce "Block Party' Mitigation Efforts
Bloomsburg, PA (04/18/2022) — Bloomsburg University and the Town of Bloomsburg will implement the below initiatives to increase safety and security related to the unsanctioned annual spring event known as "Block Party."
- Residence Hall Visitation Restrictions - Bloomsburg University will temporarily restrict overnight guests in the residence halls to one visitor per student for the evenings of Friday, April 22, Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24, 2022. A professional security firm will assist in managing guest registrations and enhancing front door security. Parking for these guests will be provided in the Blue Lot and the Orange parking lots.
- Parking Restrictions - Bloomsburg University will prohibit all parking at the Lightstreet Road parking lot and the ATM parking lot. Parking on campus will be restricted to persons attending events on campus. Additionally, temporary parking restrictions will be in effect at the First Street (Green) parking lot to permit-holders only from noon Friday, April 22, 2022, through noon Sunday, April 24, 2022.
The Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University also ask all participants to keep in mind:
- Neither the Town of Bloomsburg nor Bloomsburg University endorse the Block Party event, and a large police contingency of both uniformed and plainclothes officers will be present.
- Town and University Police both have a "zero-tolerance" policy for all violations during Block Party weekend. Parents and Bloomsburg University will be notified of all arrests, and university students will be subject to discipline for violations under BU's Student Code of Conduct, as any such violations are.
- The Town of Bloomsburg requires permits for social gatherings of 150 or more individuals. Students are reminded that they can be held responsible for ordinance and crimes code violations that occur on property they lease or control.
Bloomsburg University and the Town of Bloomsburg are continuing strong collaborative efforts to reduce potential adverse impacts associated with excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking, which has historically occurred during the event known as "Block Party."
Students are also reminded a brief moment of indiscretion can have a significant and lasting impact on employment opportunities; and this is counterintuitive to the goals of the student population to prepare themselves for a brighter future.
Town of Bloomsburg Police, along with Bloomsburg University Police and law enforcement partners from both municipal and state law enforcement entities, and code enforcement along with the Bloomsburg Fire Department/EMS will also collaborate to maximize visibility and omnipresence throughout the weekend of April 22-24 and ensure the capability to maintain order and respond to calls for service.
Citations and arrests resulting from the annual celebration of the end of the school year peaked in 2016 at 375; and were trending downward through 2019. The event changed with the pandemic's emergence; and 2020 and 2021 were largely uneventful. Ideally, this respite provided an opportunity for students to consider the negative impact of potential harms associated with the excesses of past events on their well-being and future career aspirations. In deterring harmful conduct seen in the past, the Town of Bloomsburg and the University hopes to provide a catalyst for and conduit to less harmful ways to celebrate the successful completion of the spring semester.
Contact was initiated with local beer distributors and tavern owners to ask for their cooperation in assisting to mitigate the harmful excesses of years past. This included a request to limit sales of glass containers which can become hazardous if broken or dangerous projectiles if thrown.
The Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University are committed to maintaining a safe, welcoming environment for residents (both permanent and temporary); students, and visitors to the Town alike.
Bloomsburg University students charged with violations during the weekend, on or off-campus, will be referred to the Dean of Students for appropriate disciplinary action. Students are reminded, however, that Pennsylvania's Medical Amnesty Law (Act 80 of 2018) provides for immunity from prosecution under Section 6308 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (Underage Drinking) when an individual seeks medical attention for another under any circumstances. This law was enacted to ensure fear of prosecution for underage drinking does not overshadow the sanctity of life for individuals seeking help for themselves or another in medical distress.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 7,600 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in five distinct colleges: College of Education, Zeigler College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, and Honors College.