The unofficial Indiana University of Pennsylvania holiday IUPatty’s weekend made national news this week.
You may have seen the news reports (the Associated Press even covered it) or the worldstarhiphop.com video of an off-campus fight that has pulled more than 720,000 views.
Starting Saturday evening, videos and pictures flooded social media with chaos, riots and fights taking place mainly on South Seventh Street.
More than 400 individuals were said to have crowded the surrounding area, and images of the scene were published across multiple media outlets.
While this is one of the largest party weekends at IUP, people from neighboring towns and campuses also flocked to IUP to enjoy an early St. Patrick’s Day celebration that administrators say may have gotten a little out of hand.
Although this publicity did not shed a positive light on IUP’s campus, it’s only one side of the story.
IUP hosted a series of social events for Spring Fever Weekend that encouraged students to have a safe and fun weekend before Spring break.
On Sunday morning, 350 students involved in Greek organizations gathered to clean the streets of Indiana.
But these efforts seem minuscule compared to the negative publicity shown on social media.
It’s important to remember that you are always representing your campus. We live in an era where nearly everyone has a smart phone, and it only takes a second to be publicized on social media.
Showing school spirit is important, but it is also important to understand where to draw the line. Even with our campus of nearly 15,000 students, a 400-student riot is enough to create a stereotype of IUP. We shouldn’t let such a small representation become the face of our campus.
Although IUPatty’s was an enjoyable weekend for many, it’s only one weekend out of the year.
Remember what we are here for: to graduate with a quality education.
Have fun with your time here, but remember that you always represent your campus.