It’s a frigid January night, and the home team just won the big game so hundreds of college students pour out into the streets. The celebration begins with cheers and hugs, but quickly the tone begins to change.
The drunken crowd continues to grow, blocking the streets with thousands of students and young adults. Fires are started, women bare their breasts, cars are flipped, and property destroyed as the celebration becomes a destructive riot.
This recent phenomenon sweeping college campuses throughout the nation has been titled “celebratory rioting,” when a large-scale celebration turns into a violent mob. Celebratory riots are characterized by the fact that they involve a large unruly group under the influence of alcohol with no political goals or understood focus for the violence. The rational of this campus craze has left many school administrators, city officials, and students perplexed.
“I just don’t understand it…We had alcohol in my day but this wasn’t happening,” said Ed Klotzbier, Northeastern University's Vice President of Student Affairs.
To investigate the issue, he has set up a Community Building Task Force at Northeastern University. A board of student leaders, professors, and administrators sit on the Community Building Task Force at Northeastern to present short-term ways to control rioting as well as long-term courses of change to better the university and community relations and bring an end to the rioting trend. In 2002 and 2004 students crowded out of their buildings after the Patriots won the Super Bowl and a small group caused destruction to city property and cars near the Northeastern campus.
“We are the sheltered generation…we feel like we have no control over what we d...
... middle of paper ...
...” The five-hour event at the Curry Student Center created a forum for students to share ideas about changing the campus climate to create a more unified campus. Students also discusses reasons for and possible solutions to the rioting craze.
In the week following the riots Michael Romano, who was then President of the Student Government Association, set up a six-person panel to answer student questions, in light of criticism by the city.
"I think a lot of student leaders have felt really frustrated that this event was a reflection of the integrity and the character of all the students," Romano told the Northeastern News at the time.
Though the rioting problem at Northeastern has not become a common weekend event, the school is taken many steps to stop the abhorrent behavior, understand the phenomenon and build a stronger community for students and area residents.
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