March 20 2014 12:00 AM

The city of East Lansing gives tips on how to NOT riot, reminds potential gatherers: ‘No one is anonymous anymore’


Thursday, March 20 — There must be a big sporting event going on involving Michigan State University. In preparation of March Madness, the epitome of college basketball competition, the city of East Lansing warns residents and visitors to be calm and conscious of their actions. 

It appears the city’s trying to avoid another incident of students and others uprooting trees and burning couches in the Cedar Village apartment complex after MSU won the Big 10 football championship and guaranteed its ticket to the Rose Bowl.

In a press release, the city reminded students that “MSU Spartans celebrate with class. … Taking part in destructive gatherings and burning furniture are NOT Spartan traditions.”

Some of the city’s tips on how to behave include not attending gatherings that block off a street or block; not starting, stoking or fueling a fire; cooperating with police; immediately leaving any unlawful gatherings and not being a bystander. Anyone within 300 feet of an open fire can be charged with a misdemeanor and face 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.

The press release politely reminds the public that any student “found responsible for participating in an unlawful assembly or riot is subject to disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from his/her school.”

It ends with a casual plea to those inclined to destroy the sanctity of the local community. “These types of events are an embarrassment to the community and the university. Don’t allow your degree to be devalued.”

A flyer attached to the press release reminds people that anonymity is gone, so students should take a moment to decide if burning couches is something they want to do that night. “Think about it ... local news cameras, security cameras, police cameras, EVERYONE has a camera phone. No One Is Anonymous Anymore.”

The flyer, released by MSU, encourages students to: “Be smart … Don’t go there.”