I forgot to mention that this weekend we had a riot in Dinkytown, the legal fraternity’s neighborhood.1 This is from the UMN student newspaper’s website:
People jumped on cars, rode in shopping carts and chanted around the fires as the evening progressed. Partygoers attempted to flip cars sporadically through the evening and harassed drivers attempting to navigate through the area.
About 70 officers, many clad in riot gear, were at the scene over the course of the night, Garcia said. They used various chemical irritants, including gas and spray — commonly known as tear gas and mace — as well as riot sticks and projectiles, such as foam and marking rounds, for crowd control.
Some partygoers almost immediately submitted to the officers, but many resisted, launching bottles and debris at officers and onto the fires and shooting fireworks toward police.
Full story is here. There are slideshows here and here.
Cops were apparently slow to respond, which wasn’t a surprise. A few weeks ago the sorority across the street from the Gamma house had a sprawling party. Think drunk, screaming undergrads… Krawall & Remmidemmi. The kids blocked the street, causing drivers to blare their horns at 3am…
I heard the party coming closer to the house, so I went outside to check on my car. As I opened the door two guys popped up from the side of my car, shouted “shit!” and took off running.
I called the cops.
The cops took a long time to respond and didn’t even shut down the party. Right after the police left, a train of undergrads crept from behind the sorority house and re-entered the front door. A few minutes later they left the sorority house and stood in front of the Gamma house and howled.
The party restarted, and they continued to keep our entire house awake, so I called the cops again. They never showed up the second time.
This weekend’s riots were obviously more serious than the sorority party. One of my former housemates had his windshield smashed. I wish the police would shut parties down before things like that happen.
Oh, and apparently the president of the university is very disappointed:
President’s Response to Spring Jam Disturbances
I am personally outraged by the irresponsible, and in some cases illegal, behavior of the individuals involved in the community disturbances Saturday evening, April 25. The actions of a relatively small number of individuals have risked the safety of our students and neighbors and hurt the University’s reputation. Both in our local neighborhoods and nationally, these actions have cast a dark cloud over all of us.
This is deeply disappointing because the vast majority of students are law-abiding men and women who are engaged in their studies and have at heart the best interests of each other and their communities. Most of you understand that the activities that took place Saturday do not meet the standards or values of the University of Minnesota. Most of you have higher expectations of yourselves.
Twelve individuals have been arrested in connection with these disturbances. Several of the individuals are, or recently have been, enrolled as students at the University. The University intends to review all such cases under the student code of conduct.2
We have also established a Web site to gather additional details about these events. If you have any information that could be helpful to the investigation, we request that you share it with the appropriate University officials.
On behalf of the University of Minnesota, I want to apologize to anyone who was the victim of any reckless or lawless behavior. This is your University, your community, and your reputation too–we hope you’ll help us make it clear that such activities are unacceptable.
Robert H. Bruininks
All this remmidemmi makes me glad I moved out of Dinkytown. During my last week at Gamma I parked in the area where the majority of the chaos was…that could have been my windshield…erm, no.
We didn’t have anything on the level of a riot at UMiami, but the university3 had the same lack of rule/order enforcement, and a similar pattern underwhelming, reactive responses to very dangerous situations.
1 Half of my stuff (some clothes, carpets, books, etc.) is still in the Gamma house.
2 I’m interested how the “student code of conduct” applies to people who are no longer students.
3 Especially in the dorms.