St. Patrick's Day at the University of Dayton got ugly. A "40s at 4" party, highlighted by undergrads drinking 40-ouncers at 4 a.m., became a "Let's Throw Shit Into Cars" riot, and police from 10 jurisdictions were forced to come into the "ghetto" to break things up. During the melee, 11 cars were damaged, including a police cruiser, and University president Dan Curran saw students be hit by police riot shields.
The Dayton Flyer News released a long breakdown yesterday of how things went wrong, and how St. Patrick's Day ended up being essentially neutered by the actions of the 4 a.m. party-goers.
While the chief, vice president and president headed toward campus, police from 12 jurisdictions gathered at the intersection of Lawnview and Kiefaber. They donned riot helmets, grabbed batons and organized an approach. Instead of focusing on arrests, their main goal would be to disperse the crowd and force everyone inside the houses.
By 5:30 a.m., the police had formed a skirmish line and began advancing eastward down the 400 block of Kiefaber, crunching glass beneath their boots while forcing revelers into the houses and alleyways along the way.
“I said, ‘I’ve never seen our students carry around 40-ouncers like this,’ and I was kind of puzzled why, and then, when I heard the ’40 at 4,’ I said, ‘Well, that makes perfect sense’ why they’d be carrying 40-ounce bottles,” university chief of police Bruce Burt said.
“I’m only assuming that the majority of people who were out there being disorderly and out of control were drunk from the night before, they weren’t getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning and saying ‘I’m gonna go down and sip me a 40-ouncer and go throw it in the street.’ I think it’s the ones that are alcohol-charged and ready to rock-and-roll at 4:30 in the morning because they’ve been up partying all night.”
The piece goes on to say that riot police told students to disperse and go back into their homes, and groundskeepers were brought in to clean up broken glass. At 10 a.m., an email was sent to students explaining the situation. It went on to say that large, non-university sponsored events were not permitted for the rest of the day.
The Flyer News' article ends with chief of police Burt dropping this interesting quote:
Burt said the mentality of St. Patrick’s Day behavior now exists, thanks to websites like BroBible, which have ranked the University of Dayton as the No. 1 school for St. Patrick’s Day parties.
“I think also you get this mindset of ‘We’re No. 1, we need to make sure everybody knows we’re No. 1, and we’re going to maintain that No. 1 by doing something over the top this year.’ And unfortunately the over the top this year got to this level.”
Really? We created a mentality of St. Patrick's Day behavior? For a college party that's existed for decades (as attested by commentators who told wild tales of bashes in the 80s)? And we created a mentality for a holiday that's existed for centuries? This is flattering, but the dates don't really match. BroBible wasn't ranking the best Dublin pubs to party at in 785 AD.
Go back and read our write-up of Dayton: It was far from a call to break things, get excessively drunk, or act like lunatics. It instead focused on the inclusivity of the event, how cool it was that everyone—from the Greeks to the non-Greeks, the undergrads to the campus police—celebrated together. "It's a party for college kids and their friends at a small, close-knit school where everyone more or less knows each other," we said. "And, most important of all, it isn't exclusive."
We never glorified any sort of anti-social behavior. Our write-up took the opposite track, actually. It mirrored a testimonial from reader CJ. "Every house is open to anyone. Honestly, just follow the music and walk into a house and you'll be thrown a fresh beer no questions asked."
That's what Dayton's popular celebration was about. Not destroying innocent peoples' property. Screw anyone who did. We didn't ask them too.