By Alex Nagler
The Kelly Riot was a step in the right direction. There, I said it. I think that students rallying around a cause and getting a little violent while doing it is a good idea.
For those of you unaware as to what we’re talking about, Tabler, Roth and Kelly Quad and West Apartments lost power on Wednesday, May 7 from approximately 1:30 AM to 3:30 AM. The reasons for the blackout and the responses made by university officials don’t really matter. What does matter is the way students responded. Each quad affected behaved differently, as if they were unique individuals.
Roth Quad, home of Science and Society, let its inner nerd fly as an impromptu silent rave broke out. It appears that one Roth resident had a supply of one hundred something glow sticks, and served as the Candy Man, distributing the glowing sticks of fanciful imagination to his fellow residents. Roth raved into the night, dancing to the beat of their iPods.
Tabler Quad, home of Arts Culture and Humanities, was (naturally) artsy. Lightsabers were drawn, glow in the dark Frisbees flew, and people smoked’em if they had’em. Everyone was mellow and people just enjoyed themselves.
West Apartments, the adults of the campus, went to sleep. They have better things to do.
Kelly Quad was a different story. Kelly Quad must be the home of Awesomeness and Students Being Students because a riot broke out. Fireworks lit up the sky. Students surrounded police cars and formed a conga line around them. The officers inside were unsure of what to do. After ten minutes of awkward and failed posturing, the police left the scene, resulting in cheers and jubilation from students. Yes, you read that correctly. Through the combined power of a unified student body, residents of Kelly Quad repelled the Stony Brook Police. If that’s not awesome, we don’t know what is.
Kelly Dining Hall came close to being looted, as a mob grew restless and started chanting, “No points, loot Kelly!” Had it not been for the fact the dining hall has an independent generator to protect the food supply from power failures, the mob would have certainly remedied their pointless situation.
Not only did the mob decide that looting the dining hall would be cool, they realized that setting things on fire (namely copies of The Statesman) was a totally freaking awesome idea. Sadly, the RAs thought otherwise and decided to put out the fire, but not before students danced and sang their way around the roaring bonfire. They were smart about the next fire they set and formed a human fence, forcing RAs with fire extinguishers to spray the students if they wanted to get to the fire.
The flippin’ sweetness didn’t stop there. There were guitars out, as well as drums, trumpets, and alcohol. Students spent two hours being kids, basking in the night and laughing when someone pulled every fire alarm in the quad.
I think this is a step in the right direction. Make the blackout a yearly occurrence. Let students have fun with their own devices rather than fake pride. Kelly Quad knows what it’s doing. Let’s follow their lead.