Has Big Brother Moved off Campus? an Examination of College Communities' Responses to Unruly Student Behavior

By Davis, Laura Marini | Journal of Law and Education, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Has Big Brother Moved off Campus? an Examination of College Communities' Responses to Unruly Student Behavior


Davis, Laura Marini, Journal of Law and Education


Disruptive off campus behavior by college students in recent years has been unrelated to social causes or the public interest. The unruly behavior following athletic events or spring festivals has been damaging to the communities in which the students reside and has included rioting, property destruction, noise, littering, over extension of police resources, and interference with quality of life. While incidents of unruly student behavior have occurred in college communities, large and small, located throughout the nation, this article looks at efforts made by three Pennsylvania communities to curb the problems. These efforts include passing ordinances requiring reimbursement for police costs, seeking injunctive relief to control the size and conduct at large parties, and installing public video cameras at student housing. The article explores the constitutional and public policy problems posed by the measures enacted by the communities, and concludes that the measures are either unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny, or may create more dangerous problems than they were designed to combat.

I. BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM-A BRIEF HISTORY OF STUDENT UNREST

College student unrest is not new in the United States. The college years historically have been associated with rebellious behavior ranging in intensity from harmless pranks, to defiance of social mores and organized dissent from mainstream political ideology. As early as the mid-1800s, responding to the stern discipline of the religious/paternalistic college system and amid claims that their "natural rights" were being suppressed, students at many eastern colleges rioted causing extensive property damage to their campuses.1 One of these riots at the University of Virginia resulted in the death of a professor.2 In the 1960s and 70s the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War resulted in widespread intentional lawbreaking and violence both on and off campuses.3 Thousands of criminal cases were brought against students for protests borne out of their desire for social change.4

While student unrest is not a recent phenomenon, what seems to be new on college campuses is the amount of purposeless destruction in which students are engaged.5 This destruction often spills over the gates of the ivy covered towers into the communities in which the colleges reside. On March 31, 2001 a melee broke out in West Lafayette, Indiana following Purdue's loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA women's basketball championship. Students broke store windows, damaged cars and stoked fires with piles of furniture.6 That same weekend in College Park, Maryland, after the University of Maryland (U.M.) lost to Duke in the Final Four of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, students rioted, ransacked privately owned homes, set bonfires which destroyed cable lines and tore down street signs resulting in $500,000 of property damage.7 The U.M. students' destructive behavior can't be explained by disappointment at their loss. Their behavior didn't improve the following year when U.M. won in the Final Four. Following the victory, students broke windows, vandalized police cars, threw bottles at officers and set more bonfires.8

College students' destructive acts have not only followed sporting events. Each July, the Borough of State College, Pennsylvania hosts the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. The event, which has been held for 37 years, lasts for 5 days and attracts about 100,000 artisans and patrons of the arts.9 For reasons no clearer than "too much alcohol" and "a good natured celebration turned sour"10 during the festival in 1998 Penn State students destroyed parked cars, ripped down street lights and signs, broke windows of businesses, set bonfires, and threw kegs from balconies causing at least $50,000 in damages and numerous injuries to police and students alike." Halloween mischief has evolved into annual melees at many campuses including Ohio University, Kent State and Southern Illinois University (S. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Has Big Brother Moved off Campus? an Examination of College Communities' Responses to Unruly Student Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.