As most of us know, WVU has had many issues in the past with students rioting. These riots, like the WVU vs Baylor incident and the recent “Spruce snow day” included the famous burning couches, and damage to school property. Due to these riots and the publicity the school was receiving, many changes were made within the university to make sure this type of behavior would not happen again, but the real question is…could these types of riots take place in the future?
In 2014, the WVU football team beat Baylor University 41-27, who were the number four ranked team in the country. The crowd went crazy but the students acted crazier. WVU students were setting everything in sight on fire and ended up causing $45,000 worth of damages that night. The Morgantown police and firefighters were called into this madness and had to result to using tear gas to clear the area.
After news got out about this riot, President Gee was extremely disappointed and even sent out a tweet about his thoughts on the events that took place that night and even took action in suspending students involved.
A more recent event that took place on WVU’s campus was the Spruce Snow Day. Now if you’re familiar with this event, you know its not the first time it has occurred. Since 2015, when the first Spruce Snow day took place, students have been hoping and praying for another snow day to come around so they could re-live this snowy tradition.
Well they got what they wished for because on February 1st, A winter vortex took over West Virginia, causing cancelation of classes, but instead of staying inside and enjoying a hot cup of coco, a majority of the students had something else in mind. These students got bundled up with their sleds and snowboards and raged on Spruce Street blocking anyone and anything from entering. Within a few hours, police were sent to the scene were worried for the students as well as their own safety.
Since the Baylor riot President Gee’s mission has always been to clean up WVU’s hard partying image and ensure safety for the students. Recently, police have been cracking down and making sure these types of riots are quickly handled and that students are staying out of trouble during nightlife.
WVU Criminologist Karen Weiss spoke out about criminal behavior taking place on college campuses.
“The secret to eradicating this kind of behavior hasn’t been discovered, it seems all universities are in this together, with varying results. Partying is more likely to happen nationally at big, public universities with strong sports programs, Weiss said. And the rioting? It’s rarer, but it happens enough to create a picture to examine, she said. Other public universities such as University of Delaware, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of California, Santa Barbara, among others, have faced similar situations in the last several years.”
Being considered a top party school, the risk is always high that this type of behavior will occur. Im sure that in the future WVU will face similar challenges with students acting out, because their will always be chances of snow days and more wins from our sports teams, but with time and more rules set into place, students will learn to celebrate without rioting and putting themselves and others in danger.