STAFF EDITORIAL: Homecoming parade mess should be contained to one location
Homecoming is a time for students and community members to show support and school spirit. The proposal by Water Street merchants for the parade route to be changed from the student-ridden Water Street to downtown does not demonstrate a strong support for university events.
The parade thrives on student participation and if moved from Water Street to a farther location, there is a threat of low student attendance. The suggested route would begin near First Avenue and end near the public library. The route also crosses the Lake Street bridge and passes by Owen Park. The idea to move the parade to a route that involves much drinking, a bridge and a public park is not ideal. Safety issues could arise.
In addition, most students would congregate between First Avenue and Lake Street, causing congestion and many open-bottle violations. If the parade stays on Water Street where it belongs, students are able to stay in the bars and watch from there. If more people enforced the rules, the crowd would be better controlled.
The proposal to move the parade stems from angered Water Street merchants who do not want to be stuck cleaning up the mess the morning after the parade. The fact is, though, that if the parade moves, the mess will be spread out over the city. Water Street plays a major part in Homecoming events and students will still trash the street – the same as every weekend – regardless of the parade location. The street will still need to be cleaned, but in addition, so will the rest of the city.
Water Street store and bar owners make a large profit off of Homecoming events. The least they could do is be supportive, schedule more employees to work the following day and pitch in to clean up.
Business for these merchants will suffer if the parade route moves, as will the student participation in the event and the overall worth of Homecoming.