It’s near the end of the semester, and that means students are happy to be reaching the finish line, and ramped up enough on booze and whatever else to start destroying things, whether provoked or not. Students at Kent State decided last night’s festivities deserved some pyrotechnics. Apparently, the police decided otherwise. The term “riot” has been used.
Apparently, students at the University of Minnesota also decided to test the police last night. Here’s some user-submitted videos on the Daily site, which is loading very slowly at about noon, Sunday CDT.
Student Activism says the reasons for the “rioting” on the two separate campuses are not clear, and seem somewhat different.
Thereâ€™s a strong tendency for outside observers to approach student boisterousness as acting out for acting outâ€™s sake,Â whatever its supposed purpose. On the other side of the coin, observers like myself find it useful to explore the underlying tensions that lead to even apparently random and apolitical outbursts.Â Itâ€™s really easy to let that kind of analysis run away with you, though, particularly since the facts about any particular student outburst are likely to be ambiguous.
Let’s hope these incidents don’t become just “breaking news” stories. If there’s something deeper going on at either campus, hopefully the Minnesota Daily and Kent News Net can get to the bottom of it. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: someone is going to have to clean up after all this “student boisterousness,” and I highly doubt it will be the students involved.