Students Rally In Beaver Canyon After Penn State Wins The Big Ten Championship
Penn State utilized a second half comeback tonight (sound familiar?) and beat Wisconsin to win the Big Ten Championship. As Penn State students often do when the football team wins big games, thousands rushed to Beaver Avenue to celebrate the victory.
Though Penn State administration asked students to keep celebrations respectful if Penn State won, students let adrenaline get the best of them. This time, however, the State College Police were ready to handle the crowd. Officers and riot police were on the streets before the game even ended.
As students rushed to the Canyon, police blocked off Beaver at Pugh Street and told people to disperse almost as soon as they got there. Though students did take over Beaver Ave for a little while, State College Police quickly took over the middle of the celebration and separated the crowd.
State College Police broke out the tear gas about 20 minutes into the celebration, dispersing students from the hot spot that is Beaver Ave. right in front of Cedarbrook. Before that, however, students made their presence known. We witnessed fans tearing down a light post and a stop sign, but surely there was more. Having been present for both the Ohio State rally and this one, the post-Big Ten Championship rally seemed far more destructive.
We’ve heard reports of students kicking and breaking the glass of the bus stop in front of Beaver Hill, throwing a rock at and breaking a window of the former Canyon Pizza, and jumping on cars and breaking their windshields. Some students also set off fireworks from a Beaver Canyon apartment and others in the streets were quick to start shoving matches.
Furthermore, we witnessed students use one of the downed light posts to charge at police on horses, causing the horses to freak out.
Police took control shortly thereafter. Officers on horseback split the crowd and told students that if they didn’t disperse they would be arrested immediately. Though there was less tear gas, some students hovered around Beaver Ave. with their face in their hands.
Once they cleared Beaver Ave, police moved down the side streets and told students they had to leave or risked being “arrested immediately.”
“You’re ordered to disperse. Any person who fails to leave the area will be arrested immediately.” – State College Police. pic.twitter.com/dGp1wtdb7v
— Onward State (@OnwardState) December 4, 2016
It was almost as if the email that Penn State administrators sent out encouraged students to cause damage and, well, riot. Anyone who was at the Ohio State rally can attest to the fact that this celebration was much more violent. Even though State College Police were ready, students were generally disrespectful from the get-go.
While winning is fun, we can’t continue to destroy downtown State College every time the football team does anything slightly remarkable. We can’t tarnish the victory.