While many GVSU students are just now moving into their respective quarters, buzz about Campus Life Night has been everywhere. According to our polls, 45% of those posting about their anticipation online—a dramatic increase from last year’s 25%—are upperclassmen. The cause of this increase is still to be determined.
It is also yet to be determined how many students will actually show up, but reports claim a significant increase from last year. Clubs are both excited and terrified of this possible outcome: “I’m just glad to see seniors and juniors enthusiastic to come to CLN for more than a free bag, some condoms, and other miscellaneous junk,” explained GVSU’s Director of Student Life Michelle Burke.” Seeing the buzz online about their interest in groups is just awesome. I will say, though, that I really don’t want a riot on our hands.”
It seems GVSU is in agreement with Burke as the GVPD have been brought in due to concern for student safety. “Right now we are working as best we can to keep everyone safe,” said GV police Chief Renee Freeman. “Which is why we will have police in riot gear and other means on standby should this get out of hand.” According to Freeman, there will be a dozen officers in gear ready to go, but she would like more: “I think for as many people we have at this event we need about 40-50 officers on hand should the students get disorderly.” Police Chief Renee Freeman explained that we can never be too safe, “Even if nothing happens we must always prepare for the worst. Even if there is no riot, wouldn’t you feel safer wearing your Kevlar vest and wielding a nightstick anyway? It is all about safety here at GVSU.”
GV sophomore Mark Brown agreed: “I think we certainly need more officers. Last year was too out of hand with just my class. I saw a bunch of people trying to start something but everyone was afraid of getting in trouble. With the upperclassmen here, I know there will be trouble. I’ve only been here a year and I already want to start looting the bookstore and flipping GV police cars.”
Another student, Clarissa Sanders, said she worries the upperclassmen will instigate more shenanigans: “Upperclassmen are more ‘anti-school’ than freshmen are, so a riot seems pretty possible. I know I have wanted to cause one a time or two, so upperclassmen who have been here longer just have to be boiling with rage, right?”
The university has issued a statement stating, “Safety has always been of concern to the university, and now with social media we can anticipate how many people will be a part of our events on a much more accurate basis. From the activity we have seen online we expect to see nearly 30,000 students at this event. With numbers this large it only takes one person to cause an uprising and we must prepare for the worst regardless of the likelihood.”
Students reading the statement displayed disgust and anger: “The only students I see raising hell around here are sophomores and freshmen,” exclaimed junior Jared Brown. “No one I know in my class has ever wanted to throw a Molotov cocktail at something, but nearly every freshman I know has talked about doing it lately.”
GVPD have planned for riot control with mace, tear gas, and even beanbag rounds. While GVPD has explained this is for safety measures, it is recommended that those going to come prepared with protective eyewear and maybe a bulletproof vest or two. Just in case.