The New England Patriots are headed to their third straight Super Bowl and fourth in five years, and the UMass Lowell community has had some Super Bowl parties that tend to get out of hand. For fans of the team, getting loud is expected and even encouraged, but safety on campus is still the number one priority for everyone at UMass Lowell.
James L. Kohl, the Dean of Student Affairs and Enrichment, sends out an email to all of the UMass Lowell students and staff each time the Patriots or any of the Boston sports teams compete for a championship, stressing the importance of safety regardless of the outcome of the game. Kohl understands that Massachusetts has a rabid fan base and acknowledges that riots happen in response to fans emotional connection to their teams.
“I know my emotions will be strong, and I imagine yours might be too,” said Kohl in last years email before the Patriots Super Bowl. “Even so, while we have all seen reports of fans and students at other colleges reacting disrespectfully after championship wins or losses, that has never been our tradition or experience at UMASS Lowell.”
While the majority of students on campus celebrate or grieve from the game responsibly, there are always a select few that act irresponsibly and don’t reflect UMass Lowell’s values. A few individuals can grow to many very quickly, and it is important to recognize that there are consequences for students acting inappropriately either on or off campus.
UMass Lowell will have an uptick in security on campus, and the city of Lowell will also have many officers on duty to keep things in line. Unfortunately, there have been past instances of students getting arrested for various reasons, such as destruction of property or public intoxication. With all this in mind, here are a few ways to enjoy the game responsibly.
It’s okay to get together with a large group of people! The Super Bowl is an entertaining event and nobody wants to watch the game alone. It will be loud too, which is to be expected. Screaming is understandable at times, but nobody wants to grow deaf because the yelling did not dwindle for over four hours.
Eat, drink and be merry. Obviously, nobody at UMass Lowell drinks alcohol if they are under 21, but if you are of legal drinking age, it’s encouraged to kick back and have a drink or several. Just be mindful of others and act respectfully. If you or someone you know has had a few too many, remember that UMass Lowell has its Good Samaritan policy and to contact either an RA or campus police.
RA’s have a tough job Sunday night too. Be mindful that they have a job to keep order, and they are looking after a lot of students. They are not meant to ruin a good time, even if it might seem like that. After all, Monday morning classes are a thing and some students might prefer a quiet hall before the game ends.
This should probably go without saying, but do not damage private property or anything on the UMass Lowell campus. There have been fires set, fights breaking out and students hanging from light posts in past years, after both wins and losses. The River Hawks are the best students across the globe, and no one wants to leave their dorm at 1 a.m. because the fire alarm goes off, or create a stigma that UMass Lowell students can not control themselves.
Enjoy the game and go Pats!