Emails, Police Officers, and Blarney Blowout

It’s that time of year again. Midterms almost over, warm weather trying to poke through the arctic cold temperatures and BLARNEY BLOWOUT. My favorite kind of blowout since Pauly D’s hair.

We’re all familiar with the course of events that happen during Blarney. All of your friends from far and wide come visit, you make very questionable green eggs in the morning with a side of keg at 8am, and you drink. All day.

But what would be a good Blarney Blowout without excessive emails from the University reminding us about the severe consequences we will face if we are deemed too rowdy by none other than men and women in black. 

I’m sure most of you didn’t even read this email that has cluttered your inbox. I know as soon as I saw “Blarney Blowout” in the subject box written from good ol' Enku, all I said to myself was, “LEAVE US ALONE DAMNIT!”

UMass seems to be on this kick about improving the reputation, and I definitely commend them for that. Each year the freshman class is in the top GPA which seems to only increase every year. So kudos to you UMass administration! 

But one of the beauties about attending this now very reputable school, and once said, “zoo” is just that. Work hard. Play hard. That’s the motto. Drake said it first, now I’m saying it. We work hard, we just took midterms, so why can’t you just let us have Blarney for one Saturday in peace?  

In the email, sent out to all students and their parents at UMass, faculty, and oh yeah a press release to major media outlets like, THE BOSTON GLOBE, they wanted to make it clear that this event is not sanctioned by the school. But if you get in any kind of trouble during this event you will be severely punished by the school. Makes sense, right?

Sending out this email in a press release brought it to a new level this year. UMass works so hard to improve their reputation and yet they purposefully reach out to major media sources to show what measures they will be taking. Why would you want to bring attention to an event you’re not condoning, but is going to happen anyway? Seems kind of bad on UMass’ part if you asked me.

One aspect of this email that really has a lot of students talking is canceling most of the bus routes on Saturday, March 8th. The ONLY thing this does, is perpetuate drunk driving. People are still going to the bars, or to other locations beside their house and most need a way of getting there. Let’s face it, we’re all broke, if we can avoid a cab fair, we will. Buses are major means of transportation for us - not to mention, all the students here that may not be partaking in Blarney Blowout. Maybe they have work, or maybe they just want to go across town to hang out with their friend. It really does not help anyone and it doesn’t make the school look better. 

Luckily for us, mother nature is on our side. It’s suppose to be 47 degrees on Saturday. Everyone in Massachusetts knows what 47 degrees in early March means... SUMMER! I definitely don’t condone drunk driving for even the shortest drive possible so it looks like our legs will have to suffice as transportation that day. Maybe this is UMass’ secret way of getting us to exercise more? Who knows. 

Maybe, one of the many police officers on horses dressed in riot gear will give us a ride? Probably not though. I also don’t advise asking that question. 

However, this brings me to my next point. The police officers. Although they do many admirable and courageous acts for us and for the town of Amherst, I think everyone knows when it comes to events like this, they are absolutely working against us. Coming in full riot gear does none other than perpetuate riots. I understand that some students do get a little out of hand and if that’s the case then they should do their job. But most of the time, I think they’re just a little over the top. 

So as this equally highly anticipated and highly dreaded day approaches, what is the best way to have a damn good time without jeopardizing your future as a UMass student?

I had the opportunity to talk with Emily Notini, senior UMass student who is on the Student Government Association (SGA) as an attorney general. Notini, as well as the rest of the students involved with the SGA don’t want to see students get charged. She noted that there will definitely be an abundance of police officers everywhere this Saturday. I’ve compiled a list based off of what Notini had to say for keeping yourself out of handcuffs this weekend.

  1. Be aware of where the police are. AKA, everywhere. Also be aware of yourself, how drunk you are, how drunk you’re getting. 
  2. Be composed. We’ve all taken an acting class in our life, this will be the time to put those skills to good use! 
  3. Be respectful. I know sometimes you just want to talk back to the police officers who seem to have a vendetta against you, but at the end of the day, they can put you behind bars. And if they want to, they WILL find a reason. So just keep that in mind. 

It’s no surprise that the police officers are pretty forceful during these kind of events. “If you believe you are the victim of police brutality or one of your friends is then you have the right to record it,” said Notini. This will not only act as evidence later on, but also as a warning sign to the cops reminding them to not do anything that they should not be doing.

Also, thanks to the fourth amendment of search and seizure, we have the right to say, “no” if a police officer demands that you open your bag. 

Bottom line is, the school is going to do what they want to do, and us students are going to do what we want to do. I think we could all probably do it in a few less emails though. 

Have fun and be safe. And remember UMass, work hard, play hard.

All photos compliments of Google.