May 13 Statement from SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley:
At a time that should be for celebration as we send new graduates out into the world to productive lives and careers, it is unfortunate that recent events have brought us such grief.
Speaking for the college and our students, I wish to express our deep appreciation to the city police and fire departments for their professionalism and dedication and the important life-saving and peace-keeping services they have supplied in pursuit of their duties, qualities that were unequivocally demonstrated this past weekend.
Heroin use is a growing problem nationally and has recently intruded into our community with tragic results.
SUNY Oswego has lost lives to this scourge, a terrible bill to pay.
Moving forward, we will search for ways that we can better identify and reach out to members of our college community who are dealing with drug addiction and better coordinate with other agencies locally and statewide to make drugs less available.
The arrests and recovery of quantities of heroin that police announced today (May 13) are a positive step in this direction.
We will certainly be working with the city and community in these efforts.
On another matter, we wholeheartedly agree that it is time for a new approach to the Bridge Street Run.
The facts clearly show that SUNY Oswego does not host, sponsor, promote or benefit from the Bridge Street Run.
We do not provide the T-shirts, transportation or any other commodities associated with this event.
This is a community event that attracts many, but far from all, SUNY Oswego students and brings in participants from as far away as Long Island and beyond who have no association with our college.
Nevertheless, recognizing the risks associated with the Bridge Street Run and upon request of Oswego City Police, we do put our college public safety resources at the service of the Oswego City Police. Our University Police officers, paid overtime by the college, were operating under the direction and control of the Oswego City Police from 3 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday to assist at no charge to the city.
At all times, SUNY Oswego promotes health and safety and denounces abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
We have sanctions in place to punish and deter individuals who abuse alcohol and other drugs.
We offer and in some cases require individuals to attend training to help deal with addictions and abuse of alcohol and other substances. In fact, disciplinary action may be brought against violators of our conduct code in relation to Friday’s event.
With the support of the downtown community, we can find a new approach to end of semester celebrations.
I call upon Bridge Street merchants to address future instances of the Bridge Street Run and similar activities by banning disruptive individuals from their premises and refusing to serve them.
We know that individual bar owners have taken this approach in the past and we applaud them.
At SUNY Oswego we will redouble our efforts to discourage intoxication and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
I hope we can work together with common purpose on this matter.
Deborah F. Stanley