News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Saturday December 14th 2019

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council transportation energy municipalization xcel housing urban planning april fools bicycles climate action density election 2011 affordable housing boulder county open space election renewables agriculture CU local food climate change election 2013 development youth jefferson parkway pedestrian election 2015 preservation Rocky Flats election 2017 recreation BVSD mountain bikes immigration boards and commissions plan boulder farming fracking GMOs transit urban design decarbonization planning board fires colorado politics wildlife land use smart regs downtown architecture new era colorado transit village parking homeless journalism plutonium natural gas ghgs commuting radioactive waste rental coal height limits taxes april fools 2015 walkability historic preservation energy efficiency historic district Neighborhoods diversity zoning population growth growth students North Boulder flood arts gardens education University Hill water supply bus election 2010 solar election 2018 nutrition RTD sprawl water quality election 2012 groundwater bike lane electric utility safety library april fools 2016 renewable energy affairs of the heart organic flood plain wetlands planning reserve zero waste mayor blue line electric vehicle ballot right-sizing street design transportation master plan obama hazardous waste county commissioners politics hogan-pancost longmont colorado legislature climate smart loan diagonal plaza campaign finance flood mitigation bears Mapleton solar panels PV recycling comprehensive plan golden conservation easement epa boulder junction pesticide congestion food drought road diet oil bus rapid transit commercial development inequality election 2016 flooding planning daily camera public health community cycles BVCP ecocycle Newlands automobile PUC climate change deniers children david miller ken wilson sam weaver community league of women voters wind power public spaces boulder creek crime mlk civil rights west tsa marijuana technology arizona Orchard Grove EV green points al bartlett Whittier city attorney

CU Administration’s Reckless 4/20 Plan Risks Violence


By

4/20/10 photo by anotherdrummer (Flickr creative commons http://flic.kr/p/7VbeAC)

As you know by now, the annual 4/20 cannabis smoke-out is fast approaching. For several years, thousands from all over the Metro Area have gathered on CU’s Norlin Quad to toke up at precisely 4:20pm. After an afternoon of low-key festivities a cloud of smoke rises above the Quad to cheers from participants and onlookers. Soon after, the crowd disperses, volunteer crews clear the field of trash and by the next morning it’s impossible to tell anything involving such a large mass of humanity has occurred. To my knowledge there has never been violence, vandalism or a significant injury during the event. Normally the police stand around the perimeter, obviously relaxed and bemused, occasionally issuing tickets to partiers who inadvertently light up under officers’ noses. The biggest criticism one might level against the confab is that despite being a rather defiant gesture in the face of one of the longest and cruelest of America’s seeming endless litany of failed wars, the event has remained remarkably non-political.

Unfortunately, 4/20’s aura of smoke mediated tranquility will dramatically change. In a vainglorious attempt to protect its costly commercial branding scheme, the CU administration plans to crack down on 4/20. They want to “put an end” to the gathering, which apparently has impeded the administration’s desire to present an unblemished corporate image to wealthy donors and upper class alumni. The effort to repress 4/20 began last year with publicized administration complaints about alleged “disruption” and the “cost” of managing the crowds. The administration’s public cost claims were riddled with double counting and bogus numbers and the disruption no worse than a Friday afternoon football game.

Now, initiating an ill-considered policy shift the CU administration will shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to convert campus into a garrison state, complete with armored perimeters, hire a pot-loving hip hop artist in Coors Events Center to distract students gullible enough to fall for the ruse, and mobilize hundreds of police to wage war against pot smokers. Incredibly, in an ultimate display of condescension and disrespect, the CU administration plans to lock students inside the Coors Center during the concert. A demeaning email was sent to CU students ordering them stay away from the Quad, which will be closed off and surrounded by armed police, and not invite their friends to campus. The email signed by CU administrators and a sadly complicit student government tri-executive threatens to publicly out, on a CU website, any students caught in the act so that their expensive and hard-won bachelors degrees might be compromised in a depressed labor market.

Aside from blackmailing students and militarizing the campus, the CU administration plan represents an elitist attack on young people, whose welfare the University is entrusted to protect. Several hundred police will be pitted against thousands who in past years have peacefully assembled on the CU campus with virtually no untoward consequences. Given that the CU action will involve the application of significant police power against so many people, the potential for an incident, a miscalculation, a mistake, a spark, seems rather high. Images of smoke, not from pot, but from teargas canisters amidst running battles across campus are easy to conjure. Apparently, the risk of violent confrontation is something this CU administration is gladly willing to take in its reckless zeal to protect its “brand.” As a staffer whose job is to ensure students’ success, I find the administration’s plan not only grossly immoral and embarrassing, but extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 3.25 out of 5)
Loading...

What do you think? Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.