About 80 people were arrested in the crowd of 2,000 to 3,000 fans that gathered at the Cedar Village apartment complex during the MSU men’s basketball team’s run in the NCAA Tournament April 4 and April 6.
At the University of North Carolina, only two of the more than 30,000 people that gathered in Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, N.C., were arrested during celebrations after the school’s win in the NCAA Championship game April 6.
The discrepancy in number of arrests may be because of MSU’s history with riots, including last year’s Cedar Fest, which required police to deploy tear gas and smoke grenades to keep crowds under control.
“Just because it happened once, the expectation is there and police are more likely to arrest,” environmental biology and zoology freshman Shannon Cruz said.
Still, fires blazed in trashcans as fans clambered up telephone poles and trees on Franklin Street, behaviors that East Lansing police have used as grounds to arrest people.
UNC’s legendary Honor Code has been used as a reason to back up the small number of arrests, as well as Cedar Village’s past of celebrations getting out of hand. Nowak said he believes MSU has a “riot problem” and history freshman Christian Schreiber agreed.
“MSU has more of a past with riots,” Schreiber said. “They [the police] are more worried about us than UNC.”
The city of East Lansing’s recently passed Ordinance 1216 has clarified behaviors that can be deemed as rioting, including lighting fires, committing indecent exposure and obstructing police in their duties.