Why this riot is different
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 23:09
College students have had a long history of rioting. Our own University of Delaware has a history of riots and rallies and is joined in that by even the most prestigious institutions the world over. Protest is part of being young, passionate and figuring out how to come to terms with that. Passion for anything means you care about something, even something that seems insignificant.
Monday’s riot is different because it was not inspired by students caring about an issue personally related to them as members of our school, nation or world at large.
History shows this to be true, no one riots without reason. The Stonewall riots in New York City were fueled by personal frustration reached a point where people could no longer tolerate the name-and-shame discrimination against the queer community any longer. Riots during the civil rights movement of the 1960s were caused by frustration and outrage at discrimination people could no longer tolerate.
It seems strange at first to compare these historical landmarks to our own recent “riot” and the Osama bin Laden riots, but while not in the same league, they share an important common factor. People rioted because they personally cared. Riots at another university over winning a long awaited championship occur because they are in response to what people personally value. Right or wrong, a public outpouring over something that is personally significant is the common factor between each of these examples. The most recent “riot,” however, is different.
What makes the incident at Delaware different and upsetting on multiple levels is it did not come from passion, outrage or any other source of value. It did not come from us caring about our school, nation or world but instead from seemingly nothing. While I am disappointed in the poor choices of my fellow students, I am outraged at the cause.
What makes this riot different is this was not formed from our community but instead formed from two people using our school for quick personal gain disregarding any consideration for our image as a whole. Misrepresenting the majority of our great institution to make a buck should convince us this was unacceptable. Hearing about one of the hardest-working students I know, currently interning for a Fortune 500 company five states over, having to justify our incredible institution to get the respect she has earned is something to be upset about.
I am proud to call myself a student at the University of Delaware and a member of the local community, and I have not stopped being proud. I am still proud because I know we are better than this because we will take responsibility and because I know that is not an accurate depiction of what it means to be a Blue Hen.