Enku Gelaye, Chancellor Subbaswamy, VC John Kennedy
The day of the Blarney Blowout 4,000+ students took to the streets of Amherst with alcohol as motivation to do no good. Enough of them indulged their demons to where the vastly outnumbered Amherst Police Department had no choice but to intervene. And intervene they did.
On March 11, about 100 students held a protest march from the Student Union to Whitmore to underscore their demand that APD apologize for using sterner methods than saying "pretty please" to disperse the unruly crowds.
Today Enku Gelaye on her first day as permanent VC for Student Affairs, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and VC for University Relations John Kennedy sat before a crowd of about 60 students for a "public accountability" forum.
Thousands were invited, few showed up
One student noted the lack of turnout for the event and then proceeded to talk about a prior incident of police brutality when he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Not a great way to gain sympathy.
Another student clearly and succinctly stated, "Students like to get drunk." He too was not a paragon of potential solutions.
The Amherst Police apology demand never even came up, and a good portion of the talk about rough police treatment centered on UMPD response during the Red Sox Riot last October and the failed attempt of having a University sanctioned event at Southwest that night. Which of course went very well right up until the moment the game ended and then quickly degraded into a riot.
UMass Chancellor Subbaswamy did not back down, or even so much as blink, from his stern condemnation issued the day after the Blarney Blowout.
The Chancellor reminded the group that UMPD is under his direct control but Amherst Police are not. And they had to make instant decisions, on the ground, without the luxury of time to call him or his staff for consultation.
But he reaffirmed how Amherst town officials are in favor of the extensive study (led by Edward Davis) commissioned by the University which should be completed in two months. With an action plan that both the University and the town are now sorely motivated to make happen.
Before the next Blarney Blowout, or whatever new juvenile name they come up with.
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