Things are getting a little scary around here. It may be just
me, but our green soul is turning black.
It all started about two years ago when this city passed a law
banning smoking in bars and restaurants. While I was a smoker in
those days and the law impacted me directly, this law was/is a huge
infringement on bar owners’ rights because those who pay property
taxes and buy property for their businesses should decide whether
smoking should be allowed.
I said then and stick by it now: That law makes us more like
Then, when the smoking ban went in to effect last fall, it
effectively butted cigarettes in Fort Collins, and I noticed
freshmen and others became a little more rambunctious than in years
past. I could see CSU’s shade of green darkening a bit.
Then came this year. Riots brought the new semester in with a
bang (some burning and some tear gas also). That opening weekend
spawned two riots of mass proportion. I have been part of the CSU
community for five-plus years and never seen anything like that.
Sure, we had some mini-riots here and there, but these riots proved
we weren’t the little agriculture school anymore. Indeed, we are
becoming larger and less civilized.
And this year we lost a fellow Ram to alcohol poisoning, a
tragedy we share with our Boulder brethren as they recently lost
someone to the same poison.
While Samantha Spady’s death is a tragedy in every way possible
and the CSU administration should do all they can to confront the
binge-drinking demon, knee-jerk reactions like banning beer at
Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is not going to help the
situation. Remember, Spady didn’t drink at Hughes and she was
underage; she could not have drank a beer if she was inside the
stadium. Now Rams fans are bingeing their beer faster than ever in
the parking lot since they can’t sip inside the stadium.
CSU has suffered a lot this year, and recent events and
decisions have certainly blackened our once green soul. We are
growing in size, and our growth undoubtedly amplifies problems
typical of large college towns. But our student body seems reduced
in maturity and our administration is making hasty reactions to our
We are becoming more and more like our hated rival from Boulder.
CSU used to be an alternative to everything we hated about the
University of Colorado at Boulder. Now our city has a smoking ban
like Boulder, we are rioting in true Boulder fashion, we are
sharing alcohol-related tragedies with Boulder and our
administration decided it was easier to ban alcohol at a football
stadium than genuinely confront the issue just like CU.
Not everything is black this year. School spirit is at an
all-time high. I have never seen so many people wearing CSU green
and gold on campus. More than ever, we seem “proud to be a CSU
But being a Ram means being mature and responsible. Being a Ram
means we don’t riot because we know doing so is simply idiotic.
Being a Ram means having fun, but not when your fun becomes
destructive and menacing.
We have lost sight of who we are, and our shade of green is
blackening. And there is already a school down south whose colors
are black and gold.
Vince Adams is a graduate student studying English. His columns
runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.