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Grumpy locals cramp students’ style

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Spring Splash: Depending on who you talk to, it is one of the most divisive topics currently being discussed.

What began as a day for students to let loose and have more than their fair share of alcoholic beverages in a controlled environment, became the worst thing ever in the minds of “get off my lawn” people in town.

For the past year, the Whitewater Common Council and various members of the community have done their best to assure the public that the littering, public intoxication, underage drinking, noise complaints and various other problems have been caused by people visiting from out of town, who wanted to see how a majority of UW-Whitewater students can party.

After a lengthy Royal Purple investigation, we found the claim literally held no water. Over 40 percent of the disturbances or crimes were either found to be caused by UW-W students or unclear as to who caused them based on the wording of the
police reports.

Yet, local officials influenced the sponsor Wisconsin Red and Pumpers and Mitchell’s decision to drop their official sponsorship. The Wisconsin Red area was the only organized part of the popular day drinking event, where the company’s sponsored event was roped into a controlled area, monitored by security checking IDs to make sure everyone was 21.

For people who weren’t 21, and let’s not be naïve enough to say they didn’t, they could join any unofficial house parties that the owners wanted to throw, if they knew someone there.

Events like these in college towns are not unheard of. The city is acting as if Whitewater is the only town ever to hold a large college day drinking event, and that the apocalypse is coming alongside students from
other campuses.

Yes, last year’s Spring Splash event was the biggest on record in the short history of the event, but it wasn’t bad for everyone. As it has been previously reported, many local businesses selling food and alcohol products had sales skyrocket on the day of the event.

Ask the local business owners how they feel about the notice sent out a week and a half before the event, banning non-UW-Whitewater students from staying in the residence halls. I’m sure they will just be annoyed from the loss of potential customers as students are about this policy that officials think will keep down the size of the party.

We at the RP sincerely hope the restrictions in residence halls don’t leave any students from any school left in an unsafe environment during the biggest party weekend of the year.

This year’s Splash will be held on the same day as UW-Madison’s Mifflin Street party, which will surely temper the number of visitors here organically, but it won’t stop a majority of UW-W students
from celebrating.

We are eager to see who the city claims next year for this year’s tom-foolery.

Residents who are unable to handle beer cans and solo cups dotting the streets only have to do so for less than 24 hours, since there are multiple organizations that are out bright and early the next day to clean up the town from all the debris.

As students who are nearing finals week, residents have to know what to expect by making the conscious decision to live in a town where a majority of the population attends the university. Trying to place so many restrictions on who can come here and how we celebrate it, will only make more people want to rebel against these actions and have a great time.

We urge everyone, from the community and its officials, to allow this event to happen next year and instead of acting against students, try giving them resources to be safe like water tents and information on how to legally host parties.

Justify it by supporting local businesses or allowing the police to engage with students in the community by creating a presence, as is seen in Lacrosse
and Madison.

The bottom line is, you have only further alienated a large majority of the students this community relies on for economic growth and stability. Don’t make the same mistake twice.

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The student news site of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Grumpy locals cramp students’ style