By: Kevin Carlin – Senior, Finance
The University of Dayton has seen a lot of national attention over the last two weeks during the men’s basketball team’s magical run to the Elite Eight.
As a graduating senior, it was incredibly special and fostered some of my favorite memories of my time here. I think it was especially satisfying for us seniors as we were the last class that had to watch Brian Gregory basketball.
However, some of the attention was focused less on the team’s success and more on the events that transpired on Kiefaber Street following our wins against Syracuse and Stanford. The press chose to describe these events as riots.
I don’t think what transpired constitutes a riot because the main criterion for having a riot wasn’t met.Violence between two groups didn’t occur and nobody was seriously injured or killed.
I don’t think something can be called a riot without there being any significant violence or anybody dying as a result. Kent State on May 4, 1970 was a riot because four people were killed from overly anxious National Guard troops. Bloody Sunday in Ireland in 1972 was a riot because 13 people were killed.
Los Angeles following the Rodney King trial in 1992 was a riot because 53 people were killed, and more recently about 20 or so people perished during the riots in Ukraine.
If no one is killed, or violence didn’t occur during the event deemed a riot, it simply doesn’t meet the criteria of a riot.
Also, all three of these incidents have famous songs written about them, which I feel boosts their credibility as events that sparked some changes to a system fixed on maintaining the status quo. I don’t think The Gem City Horns are going to write a song about the incidents anytime soon.
I also think significant property damage has to occur for an event to be considered a riot. Just burning a couch or two and smashing some glass bottles doesn’t quite live up to a riot. There has to be more damage.
It is for these reasons that what happened on Kiefaber following the Flyers’ wins were just, for lack of a better term, a large celebratory gathering that was spoiled with the drunken shenanigans of a few people.
Honestly, if you’re stupid enough to throw a glass bottle at a police officer equipped with body armor, a riot shield, mace, a Taser, a nightstick, handcuffs and a gun then perhaps you deserve to have some sense beaten into you by the long arm of the law.
However, just because the events in question weren’t riots doesn’t mean they were a good thing for UD. For the last week my Facebook news feed has been littered with posts from brobible.com and totalfratmove.com boasting post-NCAA tournament victory parties. Can we just knock that off now?
Brobible.com and totalfratmove.com are blogs run by fools. Posting those articles makes UD look bad and quite frankly makes UD students look like they go to West Virginia. Being a Catholic university means that we’re held to a higher moral standard.
As far as police action is concerned, I think they could have done a better job being more proactive and less reactive.
After the win against Syracuse they knew that similar events were going to happen if we beat Stanford. So why not take a proactive approach? Instruct everyone parked on Kiefaber to move their car before the game and block of the street.
That way the crowd is contained in a predetermined area and you can better respond to any situation that arises. When the police are more reactive to situations like this it can cause to the situation to escalate.
The real story of March Madness should be about the Flyers’ success, not these incidents.
The focus should be on a team that had its best season since 1984 despite being labeled “inferior” by Charles Barkley, a team that finished as one of the top eight teams in the nation, a team that beat two perennial collegiate basketball powers on the sport’s biggest stage, and not on the post-game celebrations that ensued after their victories.