Consider upsides of Rutgersfest cancellation

Rutgersfest is no more. A scattering of violent thugs and violent drunks took their destructive behavior so far last Friday that President Richard L. McCormick had no choice but to cancel the event for future University students. Current students are a special bunch to say that they were at the last Rutgersfest. Alas, never shall there be another concert/carnival of such a scale at the University.

This cancellation is not a tragedy, however, because Rutgersfest, as an event, is lame. The carnival aspect tends to be underdeveloped, and the bands, are at best, second-rate. The real fun is in the jubilant festive atmosphere that occurs alongside Rutgersfest. If the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) did not hold the event but said that it would be held anyway, I imagine that half of the University wouldn't even know the difference. Though Rutgerfest signals a day of partying, it is not truly dependent on Rutgersfest. I am absolutely certain that students will unofficially designate another day for celebration. This day will be the spiritual successor to Rutgersfest and make people just as happy. Since it would be unofficial, non-student degenerates would have less justification to visit and spoil the fun.

There is another silver lining to this cloud. RUPA will save an enormous amount of money by not holding Rutgersfest. This money can either go back to the students or be used to hold more, higher-quality events throughout the year. Perhaps the thousands of dollars that would normally go into hiring bands will instead go into lavish free giveaways for students. RUPA would definitely earn my respect if they gave every University student a red University baseball cap and an Amazon.com gift certificate.

I only hope, though, that no one thinks ill of the University or its students for the Friday fiasco. Some students acted unreasonably, but our school has no crazier students than any other state university. The real villains, the ones who probably pushed McCormick over the edge, were the non-student thugs who shot people. By introducing such an outside criminal element, they caused safety concerns far beyond what the police were expecting. In bringing guns into the picture, they brought the Rutgersfest antics to a totally different level, and McCormick's decision is the best one in response to that fact.

I do weep for Rutgersfest. The loss of any tradition is a sad time because it represents change, and people find comfort in what's familiar. So long, Rutgersfest. You were flawed, but we loved you unconditionally.

Edward Reep is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in pre-business with minors in economics and human resource management.


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