Ashamed about Dinkytown riots

When the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team won, the air had already been buzzing with electricity. That same electricity was there when we lost. I am proud of how much love and identification my fellow students have to the University. Of course, it’s natural for there to be an outpouring of emotion and celebration when any beloved team triumphs or loses — and with less than a second to spare, the triumph Thursday could not have been more exciting, and our loss Saturday could not have been more crushing. What upsets me is the form that our emotions took.

A riot in Dinkytown, albeit a mild one, is not how we should have celebrated. Snapping selfies in front of the riot police, climbing light poles, jumping on police cars, damaging public property, getting pepper sprayed or arrested really degrades our reputation.

It is not entirely our fault, though. This is the example that we have been shown from university campuses across the country. Drunkenly rioting because our hockey team won a game is immature and totally indicative of the privilege and entitlement that our generation has. Just because we were proud of the accomplishments of our team does not give us the right to act uncivilized and drunkenly breach law and order in order to celebrate.

For some reason, the idea of rioting has become cool. Why? In other places, riots are not fun. People die in riots. Riots should be reserved for the absolute last thing that a movement should do to try to gain legitimacy, when there is nothing to lose but health and lives. Of course we weren’t trying to gain legitimacy — we were just trying to celebrate, right?

Instead of losing our minds over a hockey game, let’s do it when it really matters. Let’s riot because of our rising student loan debt, which exceeds all credit card debt. Let’s riot because of Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Let’s riot about the entire generation of children being killed and tortured in Syria, while the rest of the world sits back and ponders.

Unfortunately, none of those things will happen — we will continue to act ridiculous, find excuses to celebrate the mediocre and never change our status quo. Before Saturday night, I could have never said I was ashamed to be a student at the University. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Go Gophers.