Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Chaos ensues in Southwest after Patriots’ Super Bowl loss

Six arrests were made

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Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian

Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian

Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian

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Approximately 2,000 people flocked to the Southwest Residential Area at the University of Massachusetts the night of Super Bowl LII, mourning the Patriots’ loss. The night ended with six arrests, 12 medical transportations and the deployment of “PepperBall” gas, according to Mary Dettloff, Deputy Director of UMass News and Media Relations.

As the Patriots defense failed to stop Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, the laughter and cheers drew silent across campus. After the final buzzer sounded, students in Southwest walked slowly and quietly out of their viewing rooms. Many hugs were seen being exchanged by strangers. Tears were shed by die-hard Patriots fans in the hallways and bathrooms.

Promptly after the game ended at 10:17 p.m., students began to move to the middle of Southwest, between the Berkshire Dining Commons and John Quincy Adams Hall.

Chants, such as “F*** the Eagles” and “MVP,” were yelled continuously.

According to a statement from News and Media Relations, UMass police officers reported that fights broke out shortly after the game ended. Students were also seen throwing objects such as televisions, laptops, glass bottles, beer cans and cones, and even went as far as setting off smoke bombs and fire crackers.

Soon things began to become health-hazardous, as the Amherst Fire Department transported 12 individuals for medical calls, including head injuries, lacerations and alcohol intoxication.

Police issued multiple dispersal orders using loudspeakers and microphones, however, to very little success. They then deployed multiple “PepperBalls,” pellets containing powdered chemicals to irritate the eyes and nose, akin to pepper spray.

With the assistance of Amherst Police and Massachusetts State Police, Southwest was cleared out by 11:30 p.m.

Jackson Montgomery, a freshman studying public health sciences, said that the gatherings were exactly what he expected.

“I have heard about the riots and that they’re super energetic. No matter win or lose the Super Bowl, there will be riots at UMass Amherst,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery praised law enforcement and their reactions to the chaos afterward.

“There was nothing else the police could have done,” said Montgomery. “They just had to wait for it to fizzle out. Mostly their presence, mostly when the horseback police came in, everyone dispersed.”

Gina Chalmers, a freshman communication disorders major, was in Southwest and witnessed many conflicts among students.

“I saw three incidents where three Eagles fans and their heads were all bleeding. It was kinda scary,” she said.

“I think these riots were definitely more violent than from what I heard last year,” Chalmers said. “Everyone was just angry.”

State policemen arrived onto the scene in full gear. State police were observed entering into the Washington Hall and were also seen standing outside of the complex. Police on horseback were also in the Southwest area, directing students back to their residence halls.

Kay O’Connor, a freshman on the education exploratory track, said she never expected anything like this to take place on her college campus.

“It was chaos, it was unbelievable. I was scared,” O’Connor said.

Gretchen Keller can be reached at [email protected], and Alvin Buyinza can be reached at [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Chaos ensues in Southwest after Patriots’ Super Bowl loss”

  1. Anon on February 5th, 2018 10:54 am

    Football does not have a buzzer…

    [Reply]

  2. umass2012 on February 5th, 2018 3:05 pm

    I’m not sure why anyone is surprised this happened…or how Ms. O’Connor never expected anything like this to happen. This behavior has been well documented online since easily 2007 and is impossible to *not* see when searching UMass.

    If you don’t want to get caught up in it…avoid Southwest. Worked like a charm all 4 of my years there.

    [Reply]

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