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UConn Students Damage Campus For The Second Time in Two Years

Matthew Biadun | Staff Writer

In 2023, UConn’s campus experienced an unprecedented riot following its win at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Headlines all across America, and indeed, foreign newspapers as well, reported on sights of lampposts rammed into glass windows. In the aftermath of the incident, several students were expelled.

This year, UConn won the championship again; becoming unprecedented back-to-back champions. No Men’s team has won the NCAA championship back-to-back since 2007. Prior to 2023, UConn’s last victory had been in 2014.

Following the victory, students crowded together outside of Gampel Stadium in what resembled a rock-concert. Fireworks shot through the air and students took to celebrating their victory. What began as mere celebration, however, would soon become an en-masse riot.

A video went rampant on YikYak (UConn’s version of Fizz) of students tearing down a lamppost, just as they had done last year. When the post came down, a student was caught by it and slammed onto the sidewalk. Students proceeded to take the lamppost and begin ramming it into a glass-window at their rec-center. The window shattered. Students left the lamppost inside the gym, where it presumably remains during the writing of the article.

A student testimony has reported that UConn students also attacked an old woman who was passing by, reportedly ‘jumping her’. While she did not see the event directly, several people across UConn’s YikYak platform have reported this event happening, as well as undescribed things occurring to UConn’s cows.

Police had been seen before the event, with a large vehicle-blockade around the Pavilion. A Dominos car had repeatedly been let through by students, only to be turned back by police. UConn had taken down several lampposts before the event as a security measure, although clearly, this did not have a sufficient effect.

The Second Riot of UConn comes at a poor time for the University. The University has protested against recent budget cuts by the state, who wants to cut 15% of the budget over five years. Staff, faculty and students have called out against this measure, often citing the important research, medical , and academic opportunities that it provides Connecticut. Already having a budget of 1.6 billion dollars, they have called for 47.3 million more dollars in state funding to help make up a 70-million dollar budgetary deficit.

The Second Riot will undoubtedly make UConn’s asks more difficult for the legislature to swallow. The issue was previously discussed through the lens of UConn’s importance in the state, both in terms of Connecticut’s patriotic pride in the University, as well as the services it offers. Now, however, talk may instead turn to the riots that have increasingly followed basketball victories. Repairing the Riot’s aftermath costs significant money in-of-itself, afterall. Last year, the University spent half-a-million dollars on repairs, with over 12 hospitalizations and 39 arrests. While it’s still unknown how many students have or will be arrested over this Riot, or the monetary repair-costs that will follow, it will surely be significant.

All sources come from UConn’s YikYak page and a student testimony, as well as this Hartford Courant article:


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