Parties are great. Parties in Fort Collins can be really great. Unfortunately, parties in Fort Collins can also become a community of stupid, overly inebriated people shouting “f**k CU” and throwing beer bottles at police.
This is not our first go-around with the whole party-turned-riot thing. Last April there was another party that magically turned into hundreds of people jumping up and down on cars and ended with police dousing crowds with tear gas.
The man that was charged with starting and taking part of the infamous riot was recently jailed for his participation, and no one seems to have learned anything from this.
And the part that really irritates me is that I, and other docile, hard-working college students like me, are grouped with these imbeciles that shuck authority and don’t think that they have to answer to anyone.
Let’s get something straight: rioting doesn’t make you fun. “Sticking it to the man” by throwing beer bottles at police when they tell you to go home doesn’t make you unique, just an overused cliche for young alcoholics. Having a party, that two kids registered through CSU Off-Campus Life, thinking that it would just be a few friends and a good time, turn into something uncontrollable and asinine is not okay. And it needs to stop.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or when you’re doing it. If you are a student at CSU, you are representing CSU all the time. At work, at home or with your friends, you are an extension of this University, like it or not. We all saw how major media heads got a hold of the last riot and turned the student body into borderline anarchists with a drinking problem, and now we’re letting that happen again.
The dean of the student body responded by sending out an email letting everyone know that she understands that this is not indicative of the student population as a whole, and that not all of us relish shouting obscenities and throwing things in our spare time. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a very specific population that see things getting out of hand and, instead of doing the right thing and leaving, decide to make matters worse. That very specific population is getting our name in the papers, and not in the way that we would hope.
CSU does amazing things; we have a nationally-ranked research program and our Veterinary and Agriculture Programs are of the best in the nation. But that is not nearly as exciting as students rioting in the streets, and turning a house party into something that interferes with Relay for Life, a fundraiser for cancer patients. Which do you think that news outlets would prefer to cover?
And when we all graduate and find ourselves in the job market, nervously sitting across from an imposing supervisor perusing your resume, do you want them to look at you and say, “Oh, you got your degree at Colorado State University? That’s a party school, isn’t it?”
Of course a small population of the student body shouldn’t be able to take away from the value of our undergrad and graduate degrees, but when that is how our school is painted, that small population very well could be metaphorically graffiting the value of our Bachelor’s.
I don’t care what you do to “blow off some steam.” That is your choice, and as long as it doesn’t affect me, I really couldn’t care less. But when it does start to affect me, that’s when I have issues.
I have respect for authority. If I was ever in a situation in which the police approached me and told me to do something, I would do it. Not because I am a doormat, but because they are a figure of authority to me and I need to listen to them. But that isn’t what makes news.
And the people that choose to riot in response to being told to do anything make news. I, and people like me, are being grouped into that by comparison.
I don’t appreciate it, and it needs to stop.
Brittany Jordan is Opinion Editor at the Collegian and hates riots and all they stand for. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.