Monday, April 23, 2007

Secure link

No matter where you stand in New York, Virginia is pretty far away. This is especially the case if you happened to be one of the thousands of students who were standing in the University at Albany’s fountain Sunday.

But that didn’t stop the media from making a connection between the mass killings at Virginia Tech last week and the raucous frolic amid the fountain’s streaming waters. Sure there are a few similarities, such as both universities are large and have students. But this is where any likenesses end.

Still, no less than two media sources covering the event made the inextricable link between the two events, raising the one question that was definitely not on the minds of any of the more than 8,000 scantily clad students: is it safe?

Of course they feel safe, you dolts. Four shots of vodka in some tang and a few mid-morning bingers will give anyone a forged sense of safety. If nothing else, the sheer adrenaline of being surrounding by throngs of like-minded scantily clad students is enough to create a bit of apathy toward matters of safety. Just ask the UAlbany students tackling each other in the slippery foot-deep concrete pool.

However, this line of thinking eluded a few stalwart reporters still looking to cash in on the whirlpool of faux news stories generated by the Tech killings. Among the reports, the Jornal Register Company’s Troy Record spent the most time hashing through student feelings about security, even asking one young woman if the shootings more than 605 miles away in Blacksburg would have deterred her from taking the annual plunge with her classmates. Care to guess her answer?

Likewise, the reporter from Capital News 9 pointed to the massive security presence at the event, claiming that it was even “more visible” than in previous years. Obviously, whomever attended this years’ event didn’t take a good look around in 2005 and 2006, when a veritable cadre of university police and a nearly 100-strong private security force –not including the 250-some-odd campus staffers on hand –kept a watchful eye over the revelers.

In actuality, the only issues of security on the minds of students was the fact that there was to damn much of it. Many students who partied during Fountain Days of years past argued the new security measures were going a bit too far, even calling them “Orwellian” in nature. Students were forced to wear wrist band, had to register in advance using their UAlbany identification card; were unable to bring friends from outside the campus; and most of all, had to be frisked just to get in. UAlbany stopped just short of giving students a breathalyzer test before allwoing them admittance.

Some students even went as far to say the mayhem of yesteryear was much more palpable to their tastes than the watered down family-type event of today. After all, young adults are drawn to chaos, even if means there might be a one-in-one billion chance a crazed gunman lurks among them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to the "blogs" and I am enjoying reading yours.
I may not always agree with your viewpoint, but repect your efforts greatly.

Keep up the good work.

9:43 AM  

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