27.10.06

BAD POLICIES INTERACT BADLY. The editorial board at the Northern Star comments on the violent end to Homecoming.

Many students living in the residence halls feel that the severe security measures taken by NIU were at least partially to blame. With barricaded streets and students unable to return to their buildings after having left, students complained they were confused about where they could go and felt trapped inside their residence halls.

This problem was exacerbated by the fact that it was the end of the week, and not only did many students have few dining dollars remaining, but the increased security made it very difficult to procure food, forcing residents to walk long distances in the dark to obtain ordered food.

It is difficult to disagree with these observations.

Their recommendations for the future are of the class "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it."

Perhaps the real root of the problem was a lack of foresight in the community's planning. There was the Homecoming game, a Convocation Center concert that brought in many people (some from out of town), a dance at the Rec center and Greek events like "Yell Like Hell" all occuring at once. The result was a mix of many different groups in one place at one time. Add mass amounts of recreational drinking to this situation and DeKalb suddenly became a lot less safe and more difficult to monitor.

Hopefully, the community will plan next year's Homecoming with a more acute sense of its risks, instead of combining strict lockdowns with overzealous event-planning.

Today's paper also included the latest ukase from the DeKalb City Council, banning large Reading Day parties. (Reading Day is the last Friday of the spring semester. By long tradition no classes meet that day in order for students who have Saturday exams to be able to study.) Does such a ban qualify as "overzealous?"

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