Rioting and the consequences

monacelli
Meg Monacelli

You probably heard about last weekend’s “community disturbance” as the CSU Dean of Students so eloquently put it in an email sent out Sunday. In other words, a party got out of hand: surprise, surprise.

It seems every year there is at least one major party that gets unruly and out of hand, and requires rather drastic police involvement. It usually happens just as winter seeps into spring and the weather becomes welcoming again.

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Last year was the riot that made national news, and the year before that was the off-campus pool party (Are we trying to get on The Princeton Review’s Top Party Schools list?). Students usually get an email from the administration about these parties-turned-dangerous and besides some MIPs issued, the consequences are usually just a verbal slap on the wrist.

I get it. College students are going to party. It’s the inevitable culture of being young and encouraged to “find ourselves” and “make stupid mistakes in college.” And why would we not use this excuse to our advantage, especially when there are seemingly little to no social consequences?

While this may be the norm, I don’t think students see just how far-reaching and consequential their actions can be. And, before you go dismissing me as a prude who doesn’t know how to have a good time, I’ll say this: I will be the first to argue that there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to kick back on the weekends, relax, hang out with friends and enjoy the nice weather. I mean, we do live in a great town and we are relatively young. Let’s not waste these precious years to one day look back regretting that we didn’t let loose a little.

That being said, I want to point out some disadvantages to these riots. First, when we choose to get so inebriated that we can’t control ourselves, we are not just risking our own health, but we are also putting other students and community residents in harm’s way. This doesn’t foster a strong sense of CSU pride or community. In fact, it does just the opposite. College students already get a broadly bad rap for misconduct, rude behavior and general stupidity. We are exacerbating and confirming that stereotype when we riot.

One of the many reasons I chose this school was because I felt part of a community where people looked out for each other and respected one another. Rioting is just the opposite of that and strains that sense of community both within CSU and between CSU and Fort Collins.

Secondly, do we really want to be known as a top party school? CSU has so much great things to offer students. We are ranked in the nation’s top 60 public universities, according to News and World Report. Our Veterinary Medicine program is ranked number three in the nation. We are the top school in the country as far as sustainability efforts. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. The reality is, we go to a fantastic school that is known for so much more than partying. Do we want to tarnish that pristine reputation by rioting?

Thirdly, when you look back 10 years from now, you might want to actually remember your weekends. Let’s get real, here: getting wasted, passing out and waking up with a huge hangover is not fun. You also can’t really remember that supposedly “great” time you had. Don’t you want to look back and say that you did cool things in your free time like hike, explore Old Town or hang out with friends in safe ways? I sure do.

So I’m not preaching to you to not party or kick back or have a fun time. In fact, I’m really not trying to preach to you at all, because who am I to lord authority over my peers? And besides, most will probably not take my advice anyway.

I simply want to point out the fact that while rioting and raging parties are seemingly consequence-free for most, they have lasting and far-reaching impacts that many don’t consider or recognize. As a fellow student and Ram, I want to take pride not only in my education from this institution, but also in the community that encompasses this campus and town. Rioting paints all of us in a poor and disrespectful light. Let’s be safe and really have each other’s backs when we choose to blow off stress and have a good time on weekends.

Meg Monacelli wants fellow Rams to remember the consequences to riots, and make them stop. Feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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In Brief:

Parties getting out of hand is becoming too commonplace.

We need to remember that these occurrences hurt our reputation and our interaction with the community.

Don’t let this great campus be painted in a disrespectful light.