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Ohio University Students Stage Street Riot after Time Change

From University Wire

Uptown revelers turned their clocks back one year Sunday morning when about 2,000 people blocked Court Street between Washington and State streets for 30 minutes before police using force dispersed the crowd. The incident mirrored last year's daylight-saving time disturbance when about 1,000 people gathered Uptown and made national headlines when police arrested 47 people.

This year, Mayor Ric Abel declared an emergency and police said about 27 people were arrested and two officers were injured. Like last year, police shot "multiple baton shells" to disperse the crowd. This year most of the crowd, mainly students, came to watch. Some came to yell, chanting "O-U, O-U," "Let's go Bobcats," "Bring it on" and "CNN, CNN." Police were booed. Some men and women shed their shirts.

Student opinions about the cause of the disturbance ranged from celebrating the anniversary of the 1997 disturbance to media exposure to police visibility.

"Everyone's just having fun. It happened last year and is happening this year because it's like an anniversary," said sophomore Nathan Buskirk.

This year, police said media coverage "played a crucial role" in the disturbance. Police say most of the arrests were for "failure to disperse" and "persistent disorderly conduct." Partiers lit small fires in trash cans and threw bottles, asphalt and a brick into the crowd and at police.

One mounted unit's horse fell while trying to clear an alley. An officer was hit on the top of the helmet by a bottle thrown from an overhead window. Another officer was struck in the neck by a brick.

The crowd began to form on sidewalks at about 1 a.m. For 30 minutes, revelers made a half-dozen failed attempts to take over Court Street. When the crowd spilled into the street at 1:30 a.m., police backed off.

At 1:41 a.m. the mayor declared an emergency, and police announced the crowd had five minutes to disperse. About 20 minutes later, 50 officers clad in riot gear moved forward as the crowd egged police on by shouting obscenities. As officers moved north firing foam bullets, which are about three inches long and two inches in diameter, the crowd refused to leave Court Street.

"Most acted like they had no intent to leave unless personally pushed out of the area," Mayer said in the release. Officers then switched to wooden rounds, and the crowd began to disperse. "That hurt," yelled freshman Jason Fondran, who was bruised twice by wooden shells. "All I wanted was to go and get some pizza."

The police finally moved the crowd to State and Mill streets and by 2:30 a.m. controlled Court Street. O'Bleness Memorial reported few, if any, injuries treated because of the disturbance.

[ The Ohio University Post, 04/06/98 ]

UC Berkeley investigates hazing

The University of California, Berkley's Office of Student Conduct is investigating an alleged fraternity hazing, discovered when UC police pulled over a car early Saturday morning on Durant and Piedmont avenues and found a student in the back seat with his hands and feet bound up.

Around 2:30 a.m., officers discovered Kyle Glankler, a freshman and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, in the car with his hands and feet tied up with rope, plastic ties and chains, along with two other members of the fraternity in the car.

When police questioned the driver and passenger about the situation, both said it was a fraternity prank. According to Mason Foster, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Glankler and the other passengers in the car were taking part in a fraternity activity known as a "sneak."

He said pledges arrange and organize retreats in which the other members of the fraternity are taken to unknown destinations without any warnings. But he said these retreats are all voluntary.

Glankler, who was not injured, did not press charges or a file a complaint against the fraternity or its members. But UC Berkeley spokesperson Jesus Mena said the university has zero tolerance for hazing and added that Sigma Phi Epsilon's activities are not permitted on campus.

[ Daily Californian, 04/06/98 ]

Trends in financial aid shift

Stanford's recent rise in financial aid and low tuition increase reflects a nationwide trend. The Board of Trustees announced in February that Stanford will spend an additional $3.8 million per year on financial aid.

Next year, Stanford tuition will increase by 3.8 percent, which is comparable to the low increase in tuition at other private universities.

This trend has been apparent in other competitive private universities, such as Princeton and Yale. There has been some speculation that schools are choosing to increase their financial aid in order to remain competitive to applicants.

According to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Robert Kinnally, however, Stanford's decision was not influenced by the announcements of either Princeton or Yale. Cynthia Rife, director of student awards suggested that the cause of the trend could be pressure from the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education, a Congressional panel appointed to find ways to decrease the cost of higher education.

"For this reason, [these institutions] are reluctant to increase tuition dramatically," Rife said.

The outside scholarship policy has also changed. Previously, any money from jobs or outside scholarships was mainly used to replace part of the scholarship awarded by Stanford. Now, outside scholarships go directly to decreasing loans and work-study.

[ The Stanford Daily 04/06/98]