This picture is the exact representation of how Umass treats its students. “Yelling at riot police? This will show that fuck! I’ll blast this unarmed college student in the face with my whole can of pepper spray.” Obviously, the kid is a moron for being out there in first place, no one is arguing that, but is this really necessary? Could you imagine if every big school pepper sprayed the fuck out their students for drinking outside? There are big gatherings like this at plenty of large universities (Maryland, Michigan etc). The only difference is Umass has taken the absolute worst stance on these gatherings.
People accuse the students and people in this gathering of being unruly and out of hand, throwing bottles and snowballs at police without warrant. I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say people were throwing shit at the police because the police do shit like this. I’ve been in gatherings of this size at Umass. You know what happens when the police just clear everyone out and don’t use pepper spray? People simply leave. No one throws bottles and nothing escalates. I’m not condoning throwing shit at police. I’m simply saying there is a reason the students do the things they do, and its not simply because we’re uncouth barbarians.
There is a distinct lack of dialogue between the Umass administration and the students. A rift that is forming between the two will continue to grow, unless there is actual communication between both parties. Sending out an email a few days before Blarney Blowout saying, “We, the Umass Administration, do not condone this. Students having fun will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. The police will be out in force. Please stay indoors and keep your faces buried in your textbooks. This is not a drill. Violators will be pepper sprayed on sight” is not beneficial for anyone. No one who reads that email thinks, “Gee. I better stay inside or else the Umass administrators will be mad at me” All that happens is those emails are ignored and life goes on.
We are UMass. The administration isn’t UMass. The police aren’t UMass. We, the students, are UMass. We are treated like second class citizens with no representation among the administration. I don’t remember getting an email about the meeting between Umass officials, Amherst officials and the landlords of Amherst where they discussed how to control OUR partying. Maybe send out an email inviting us to discuss the current situation and what WE THE STUDENTS, could do to better the situation. I don’t remember Umass defending its students when bylaws were passed limiting the number of unrelated people living in a residence to 4 people. Putting an unnecessary financial burden on students, when the school does not have enough on campus housing to accommodate every student as it is.
The Chancellor continues to talk about how we brought shame to our degrees. How we bring shame to our University. HEY BUDDY GUESS WHAT? IT IS OUR UNIVERSITY! There is no degree to soil, without the students. There is no UMASS without the students. Get off your fucking pedestal and address us like the adults and members of this community that we are. We get blasted every year as if somehow there is a small nucleus of shy, timid, non-drinking, all academics-no fun, students who we are ruining it for. They are the MINORITY. You want to go somewhere where its school only, fun never? Fine. That place isn’t UMass. So get out.
The grade of student has continually increased, since I entered as a Freshman in 2009. Average high school GPAs are higher, SAT scores are higher. The level have student has increased dramatically, yet somehow we are still treated like we’re the idiots from the ’70s who gave UMass the “Zoomass” reputation. We are not idiots. We are high caliber students who enjoy fun. We would like a dialogue to be able to voice these well reasoned opinions about the actions OUR school takes against us. Until Umass starts treating us like the people we are and not the second class degenerates they make us out to be, nothing is going to get better.
FUCK ‘EM UP! FUCK ‘EM UP! GO UMASS!
Can’t wait for March Madness!