Do not blame RUPA for violence


The University just cannot catch a break these days. Ever since the Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi incident, our school has been under massive scrutiny from students, politicians, alumni, the media and even people completely unaffiliated with the University. The Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) has been at the center of the firestorm, decried by many as some sort of supremely wasteful — and possibly evil, depending on who you ask — bureaucratic organization which serves only to hinder the pursuit of education at the University. Because of this bleak perception, it follows that people began immediately clawing at RUPA's throat the moment it became clear that Rutgersfest brought with it a slew of problems. However, blaming RUPA for what happened at Rutgersfest is completely unfair.

We fully admit that this past Friday, New Brunswick was a mess. Four people were shot, and no one can say with any certainty just how many others were involved in violent altercations. Rutgersfest's status as a legendary day of partying attracted massive crowds, but this is not RUPA's fault. The only thing RUPA was responsible for is putting together the concert. So, if you did not like the lineup, then you can be mad at RUPA. But to blame RUPA for what students and non-students alike did outside of the concert space is just absurd.

One must also keep in mind that the people involved in the reported shootings were not University students, and we're willing to say the majority of the people involved in any of major incidents were not students. University students take to the streets in fits of revelry throughout the year, but never do they leave this much destruction or chaos in their wake. The problems seem to have stemmed largely from the large amount of people who just came to the University to party. RUPA did not personally invite these people, so why make it sound as if they did?

That being said, we do not wish to see the same levels of disorder and outright violence ever repeated in New Brunswick again. Something must be done to make Rutgersfest a safer event for everyone — students and New Brunswick locals alike. We'll be honest and say that we don't have any great ideas regarding how to bring this safer climate about, but that does not change the fact that Rutgersfest cannot continue on as is.

Let's remember that blaming RUPA for what transpired last Friday is foolish. It completely misses the point that the crowds were largely unaffiliated with the University and RUPA in every way. We're certain that both RUPA and the University have recognized that something needs to change with regards to Rutgersfest. Rather than slinging insults, we need to come together and work with RUPA and the University to improve Rutgersfest for the future.


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