Monday, April 14, 2003

At least they didn't tear down any statues...

From the "let's be more like downtown Baghdad" department:

The smell of cigar smoke, burning plastic and pepper spray filled the air Saturday night as several hundred people rioted following Minnesota’s men’s hockey team’s 5-1 NCAA championship victory.

In an alcohol-fueled frenzy, rioters smashed windows, burned trash bins and toppled items throughout Dinkytown, Stadium Village and parts of the East Bank campus.

University officials were still assessing the damage when University President Robert Bruininks met with members of the news media Sunday afternoon.

“We don’t really have enough facts,” Bruininks said. “You can be assured that we’re going to turn over every stone to find the people responsible for this.”

The scary thing is, there were riots last year after Minnesota won the title. And some students aren't ashamed of this:

Mark McSherry, an economics senior, said the police presence made the damage worse.

“People burn stuff because the cops keep chasing us and they keep Macing us. We’re going break stuff until they quit chasing us,” he said.

McSherry said this year’s riots were worse because a lot of people, including incoming first-year students, saw riots on television last year and wanted to participate.

“Riots are some of the top three memorable college times of my life. When else do you see all these students come together to do one thing?” he asked.

On the plus side, university officials say they'll now consider a "zero tolerance" policy against future rioting. Hopefully the leaders of this riot won't have made it to exile in Syria by then...

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