Blarney policies didn’t go far enough

By Morning Wood Staff

(Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian)
These two students were caught rudely walking the streets on “Blarney.”

By P.R. Paranoia

On March 7, the University of Massachusetts faced a challenge to its public image. The annual “Blarney Blowout” event brings fear and loathing to the heart of every Amherst resident, with flashbacks to the horror of previous years, of broken bottles and spilled spirits. In response, the University banned guests from campus dormitories, posted police across campus and around the town and hosted a free concert for thousands of students.

But UMass didn’t go far enough.

The policies of the newly appointed Vice Chancellor for Crowd Control failed to keep every student in their dorms and off the streets. Far from that, many students walked the town in green shirts and awkward headgear, slipping on the icy, un-shoveled sidewalks in North Amherst and dropping six packs, bowl packs and backpacks. These rowdy students make UMass look bad, and they must be contained.

Like the communist threat of the 1950s, the only way to stop “Blarney” is through overwhelming fear. Not only should students fear gathering in Townehouses or Brandywine, they should fear walking the streets in broad daylight. They should fear leaving dorms in the face of rambunctious hordes of hooligans who will hit them in the face if they take two steps out the door.

The only way to ensure total compliance is through brute force. Instead of a ban on non-UMass guests in the dorms, the University must lockdown residence halls next year. No students can come or leave. Like duck-and-cover trials of the Cold War, on-campus residents must learn that they will only be safe from “Blarney” mobs if they abstain from any social interaction.

Instead of a weekend and night ban on parking for non-permit holders, UMass must tow every car in student lots to make sure that students cannot organize illegal gatherings with friends or go to the store to buy the dastardly liqueurs that fuel the “Blarney” fire.

Instead of the 200 state and local police officers posted around town, who barely kept order in the face of crowds armed with bagpipes and introductory sociology, Chancellor Subbaswamy should have demanded that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker call up the Massachusetts National Guard to maintain order in Amherst. Only tanks and Humvees can stop the onslaught of deadly howling and screaming.

But the ultimate guarantee of “Blarney” prevention has already come from the Vice Chancellor for Crowd Control’s first press release:

“The era of big alcohol is over. We believe that Amherst has moved past its ‘Zoomass’ image, and thus past the need for sales of alcohol. We formally petition the Town to cancel all liquor licenses, close all bars and ban the sale of all alcohol.”

P.R. Paranoia is a Morning Wood dingus and can be reached at [email protected]