Column - Irresponsible students in video deserve to be ‘Shmacked’
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 01:03
West Virginia University was trending worldwide on Twitter Tuesday night for all the wrong reasons.
It wasn’t ground-breaking research or a Mountaineer victory – it was a bunch of drunken idiots making fools of themselves and the University.
"I’m Shmacked," a film company that documents weekend experiences at 20 of the best and biggest universities around the country, was at WVU this past weekend for St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
At least 10 people were arrested, and more than 40 people were cited for alcohol violations, according to Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston.
The Morgantown Fire Department was called to 36 fires that started between Saturday night and the wee hours of Sunday morning.
The events prompted WVU Vice President of Student Affairs Kenneth Gray to send an email to students Monday afternoon condemning the behavior that took place over the weekend.
But the damage was already done.
Several scenes of fires appeared in the four-minute video, along with scenes of individuals destroying a car covered in graffiti and a lot of partying and drinking.
There was at least one scene showing individuals drinking in the back of a moving car.
I lost count of the number of times someone smashed two beer cans against their head and shotgunned them, not to mention the number of keg stands.
It was mayhem.
The video could’ve been worse. It could’ve shown more fires, it could’ve shown students throwing bottles and cans at cop cars, but it made its impact nonetheless.
The reaction from WVU students is also concerning.
When "I’m Shmacked" posted the video on its Facebook page Tuesday night, it took only five minutes for #imshmackedwvu to start trending in the US.
In just 13 minutes it was trending worldwide.
The buzz on Twitter and Facebook was embarrassing.
Students were revelling over the potential of WVU having the best party scene in the country – and there was video evidence to prove it.
It’s pathetic. There really aren’t any other words to describe the reaction.
Students seem proud that their inability to be responsible is being showcased for the world.
Following the video’s debut, hundreds, if not thousands of tweets flooded my social network timelines bragging about it.
A few examples:
- "Broke a tear while watching #imshmackedWVU proud to be a #Mountaineer #WVU"
- "i f---ing love my schoooool #WVU baby alll dayyyyyyy"
- "Thank god for the @ImShmacked WVU video or else I wouldn’t even remember half the sh-- I went too. #WVU knows how to party hard #truth"
Some students even bragged about showing up in the video. Some were smart enough to point out the exact time they made their appearance.
Good luck with the fame.
It’s okay to party. It’s okay to have a good time. But to break the law and act like a hooligan?
C’mon, folks – grow up.
I feel terrible for all of those in the video, because whether they know it or not, it’ll be a regrettable decision.
But I really feel for the many, many students who were responsible and had nothing to do with the mayhem.
The video sheds a negative light on the University – one that the WVU has tried to outrun for years – a "party school."
When potential employers see videos like this, it stamps a negative image on the University and those associated with it – not just the irresponsible students.
University officials said they "will be viewing videos and other surveillance from the weekend to identify additional offenders."
I hope the University does, and I hope the University comes down hard.
There are just more than 29,000 students at WVU, and this small fraction of them shouldn’t be let off the hook.
I hope St. Patrick’s Day weekend was worth it when University officials review the video.