As the University of Dallas prepares to host the annual Groundhog festivities from Feb. 2 to 4, interim Dean of Student Life Denise Phillips emphasized that the university policy regarding alcohol consumption will remain in effect that weekend.
Although alcohol has been a big part of the Groundhog tradition, students are asked to respect the university’s alcohol policy as found in the student handbook, which states that alcohol may be consumed by a student in moderation, as long as that student is of legal age.
“The alcohol policy in the handbook is effective throughout Groundhog weekend celebrations,” said Phillips, also the Executive Director of Mission and Ministry. “In short, that means the rules don’t change simply because it is Groundhog.”
She added, “Underage drinking on campus and at any UD-sponsored event is against school policy because it is illegal, and we promote good citizenship and moral living.”
Although alcohol is expected to be consumed, public intoxication will not be tolerated, according to Phillips. A list of Groundhog rules will be given to students before the event.
Students will not be allowed to bring any bags, purses or containers, and will not be allowed to bring in any extra alcohol not provided by the event, according to the UD website. Those who are publicly intoxicated will not be admitted, and public intoxication will result in removal from the event as well as a fine from the Office of Student Life, Phillips said. A student ID and state ID will also be required from everyone at the event.
The festivities will begin on Thursday night with Groundhog TGIT, where students will be encouraged to wear Groundhog shirts from past years. Throughout the night, old Groundhog shirts will be given away to a few lucky students. On Friday, the celebrations will continue when President Thomas Keefe, officially kicks off Groundhog with a few words, which will then be followed by the free “Champagne Breakfast” in the Haggar Café for all students. The breakfast will include mimosas for those of legal age, as well as hot chocolate for all. The eponymous Bill Murray movie will be shown in the SALC all day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Groundhog will then culminate on Saturday with its main events. The 5K run, starting at 9:30 a.m., will be followed by a Powder Puff game – underclassmen vs. upperclassmen – and the night will climax with the Groundhog Party in the Park, starting at 8:30 p.m.
“There will be several things to do around campus that will be leading up to the main event,” said John Norton, Vice President of Student Government and president of SPUD.
Shuttles will be taking students to Groundhog Park and back throughout the night on Saturday. Once at the park, a hay ride will take the students into the woods for a night of music and socializing.
The ticket to the event will include beer – for those of legal age – and cold soft drinks, as well as burgers, hot dogs, hot chocolate and s’mores.
“The ticket to the event is a Groundhog long-sleeved shirt – $15 for those under 21 and $20 for those over – or a Groundhog sweatshirt – $20 under 21 and $25 for those over,” said Norton.
Along with six Campus Safety officers, six Dallas police officers will also be at the event to make sure that everyone has a safe time.
While students are expected to follow the alcohol policy, they are encouraged to go and form a part of what has been a long-standing tradition for UD.
“Groundhog is the only event at UD that consistently attracts a vast majority of students, some faculty, and a significant number of alums. It is the one time a year that is distinctive to UD,” said Norton.
Tickets will continue to be sold during meal times in Haggar through the end of the week as well as online. Tickets sold at the door during the event will cost an extra $5.