The Breeze asked those who attended Springfest 2010 to post comments on their Web site. About 20 students have commented since the riots took place over the weekend and have written in with opinions on the heavy police involvement in comparison to past Springfests.
Meg on April 11th, 2010 5:33 pm
Frankly, I don’t understand why there are people who say there was absolutely no warning at all for what happened on Saturday. I’m not justifying the actions of anybody involved; I think we can find honest fault with everyone involved. However, there have been rumblings since early in the week about Springfest. After the issues with Friday’s plans, how can anyone say that there were no hints? I’m sure that there were plenty of spots on Saturday that did not deserve tear gas or police antagonism…but when you see the police show up in riot gear (and whether you saw them or not you KNOW you heard about that regardless of where you were), or see dumpsters get lit on fire, or see people throwing beer bottles…not to mention the MASS text sent out telling students to disburse, those tend to be indicators that trouble is brewing if not already in motion. Everyone involved messed up in some form. As a JMU student, I just wish that everybody would take some of the blame instead of forcing it on everyone else.
Joey on April 11th, 2010 5:12 pm
A shot glass was thrown through my bedroom window at 3 AM this morning, but I wouldn’t trade the weekend to have my window back. We work hard all year and if we want to get a little out of control, I think we deserve that right, within reason.
Jeff Nicholson on April 11th, 2010 3:31 pm
In 2000 I was a sober sophomore who watched the events at Village Lane from the top of the hill before I had to leave because of the tear gas. Reading the accounts of last night’s events was like reading 10-year-old news. I remember the police ordering people to leave and then blocking their exit and marching in a phalanx into the crowd as the tear gas bombs were thrown. Students reacted violently, which shouldn’t be a surprise.
In the months after the “riot”, JMU administration, police officials and the SGA met numerous times and an external report was issued that examined the causes and the consequences of the violence. Many man-hours went into that analysis and it seemed to be received seriously, which is why I was surprised to see history repeat itself last night. It might be good to dredge up that report and maybe get a quote from Mark Sullivan, the former SGA president who was closely involved in the collective introspection that followed the 2000 block party.
Tom on April 11th, 2010 1:09 pm
I totally support the police in regard to Spring-fest, if the students and their non-JMU guests had not gotten totally out of hand the police would not have had to resort to tear gas and other methods of crowd control. What people tend to forget ( or in this case want to ignore) is that the party-goers were drinking in public (crime), were assaulting each other (crime) had set fires (crime), were damaging private property (crime) and most of those involved were under 21 and drinking (yet another crime) and the police tried to handle it on a case by case basis until all of these issues got out of hand and more officers and other methods were necessary. So to all of those who complain about the police and especially those who were arrested stop blaming the police, grow up and start to take responsibility for your actions.