By now you’ve heard all about the riots that followed Ohio State’s victory over Michigan, but what you may not know is how common this sort of thing has become. This got greater media coverage because the game was for a spot in the Fiesta Bowl National Championship game so ESPN,CNN etc. were all in town for it. But the rioting has gone on for the last few years, not just after the Michigan game. That’s only one of the “stay away from campus” weekends in Columbus. There are others, and the city, university and police seem completely unable to stop it from happening again and again.
The sad thing is, someday it’s going to be worse. Someday someone is going to die in the rioting. It’s only a matter of time when you consider tipping over cars and setting them on fire, or setting fire to couches, chairs, dumpsters, etc. to be a perfectly good way to spend a Saturday night before something tragic happens and people die. For what? Because a bunch of college kids were too dumb and too drunk to know any better?
I hope that this recent spate of national media coverage is embarrasing enough to school and city officials that they consider doing something useful to stop this sort of thing before someone does get killed. Putting and end to alcohol sales at the stadium and at all of the pre and post-game festivities around the staduim would be a start. Making arrests for public drunkeness and underage drinking on sight would be another. (I enjoy a beer as much as the next guy, but obviously OSU cannot control underage and out of control drinking so it’s time to just end it completely.)
I’d think about calling out the National Guard in the campus area for those weekends but, as Angela pointed out to me last night, I didn’t live in Ohio during the Kent State tragedy. Some people in Ohio are still a little sensitive about having the Guard on college campuses.
It might seem drastic and harsh but this has gotten to be ridiculous. People shouldn’t have to be afraid for their lives after watching an OSU game or just going out on High Street on a Saturday night, but they are. That’s wrong.