Quinnipiac President Apologizes for Comments at Off-Campus Party

Massive parties have been a source of tension between school and town.

ByABC News
April 29, 2015, 7:54 PM
Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey, pictured Sept. 13, 2012, in Hamden, Conn.
Quinnipiac University President John L. Lahey, pictured Sept. 13, 2012, in Hamden, Conn.
Richard Messina/Hartford Courant/MCT/Getty Images

— -- The president of Quinnipiac University issued an apology today after video surfaced of him stopping by a massive off-campus student party and appearing to make light of tension between the school and the community.

"I outlawed 'May Weekend' 15 years ago," president John Lahey says on video among hundreds of cheering partiers. "Apparently, the message hasn't gotten out. You guys are living proof that May Weekend exists."

At the party, which was held Saturday, Lahey not only appears to joke about parties, but also about the community whose residents have complained for years about the large crowds and parties.

"I didn't even know this street existed," he says. "I'm going to have to buy all these houses."

The video was posted on YouTube Monday. Today, Lahey said he "deeply" regretted making those comments.

"I unfortunately made light of what is clearly a serious matter with respect to off-campus student housing in Hamden," Connecticut, he said in a statement.

Hamden residents, who've been asking the university and police to crack down on parties as more students move off campus, said they were shocked by the crowd's behavior.

"I couldn't believe it," Hollie Schrader told ABC News affiliate WTNH-TV. "They were coming with containers of liquor."

According to the Hartford Courant, in 2014, Hamden police responded to 22 incidents involving loud parties or disorderly conduct tied to Quinnipiac students living in "non-university rental housing in single-family neighborhoods."

Interim Hamden Mayor James Pascarella told the Courant that it was "inexplicable" that Lahey would make those comments in light of the tensions between the university and the community.

"I was stunned. I was shocked," he said.