Green soul turning black

Oct 052004
Authors: Vincent Adams

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.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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