Skip to comments.(JMU - Virginia) Crowded off-campus party degenerates into 'war zone'
Posted on 04/13/2010 12:33:35 PM PDT by Feline_AIDS
HARRISONBURG, VA. -- The bottle caps, broken glass and empty plastic cups littering a neighborhood near James Madison University's campus suggested that the events of Saturday afternoon were nothing more than a kegger gone bad. But those who witnessed the party-turned-riot recalled chaos so out of character for this Shenandoah Valley town that by Monday afternoon, it still had the power to amaze.
"When you are setting off tear gas and people still aren't leaving, you know it's bad," recalled Lt. Kurt Boshart of the Harrisonburg Police Department. "It was really bad."
Each semester, James Madison students organize a huge block party, in one of the popular neighborhoods near campus, that typically attracts about 2,000 people. But when more than 8,000 people showed up to "Springfest" at a row of townhouses at the Forest Hill Manor development, the event quickly escalated, Boshart and witnesses said. Rocks, beer bottles and cans flew, hitting and injuring dozens of people and shattering car and house windows, according to police, witnesses and video of events. Dumpsters were set ablaze. ... The response eventually involved about 200 police officers from several different agencies, many outfitted in riot gear and fighting back with canisters of tear gas, rounds of pepper spray and foam projectiles. A Medevac helicopter arrived to take a casualty to a trauma center, and about three dozen others went to the local hospital.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
JMU is *THE* party school in Virginia, duhhhh.
Sometime I think the people who don’t go to college are smarter.
The state keeps buying up more and more of Harrisonburg for JMU.
Guess this might be the fruit of that.
Weird how riots are happening all over this country, and the lamestream media?
It wouldn't surprise me if overzealous enforcement of '21-to-drink' may have played a role in the festivities.
A kid knowing that he's about to be busted might be tempted to 'pound it down' before the heat arrives, and quickly get loaded, with all the problems that that entails. If an 18-through-21-minus-1-day-year-old wouldn't feel the need to 'look over his shoulder' for the fuzz, chances are that the party may have remained friendly and calm.
Actually, its a tie between UVa and W&L but we don’t rank professionals.
“Unbelievable. A new low. Im so ashamed. Almost sorry I missed it.”
“What did you do, human sacrifice?”
“No, just some harmless fun.”
—Boon and Katy, “National Lampoon’s Animal House”
WVU use to have a large block party every year until some idiots had to involve gun play (no one killed but I think one or two wounded). The school immediately went to work to shut it down for future years and started offering an alternative event. They have been successful and the block party in now only a memory for old timers like myself.
What the hell are you talking about, Officer Friendly? That's when the fun begins.
I sent my Daughter there.
It seemed pretty laid back for those four years. Much less intense than the schools I went to.
Not much to do at JMU...
Hon, someday, when you grow up, you'll want extreme overzealous enforcement of such law because you won't enjoy drunks coming into your neighborhood and endangering your home and family.
Plus, they pee all over the neighborhood like animals.
wOOt! That’s my alma mater :) That block party has been like that since I went there (I was there from ‘99-’03) They always report on this party and the one marking the start of school in the papers; same old same old. I was there the year they brought out tear gas.
I should say they always toss out tear gas every year it’s held... since ‘02 at least.
College separates the men from the boys; the men enlist, the boys go to college.
‘87 grad here, and I don’t think they had this block party back then—not sure, though. Of course, when I was there, JM’s across South Main from the Quad was actually still a *bar*. Good one, too.
JMU’s always been a pretty serious party school, even back into the mid-1980s, but like somebody else said, they’ve been laid-back about it. Well, mostly. You should’ve seen what the Bluestone dorms (Gifford, Wayland, etc.) looked like a few weeks before the end of spring semester. They actually made those dorms co-ed just before I graduated because they found out that co-ed dorms (including Bell, the one I lived in all three years I was there) had a lower rate of vandalism and thousands of dollars less damage from partying.
Nope, not much to do in Harrisonburg except determine which way the wind’s blowing by whether it smells like live poultry or dead poultry, but it sure is beautiful country up there. And JMU, riots aside, is a damn fine university.
James Madison? I am really surprised.