Do your part

Homecoming. Some call it the, “Mardi Gras of Eau Claire.” It is the one day of the year when students can get as crazy as they want. However, with an event of such magnitude comes responsibilities. Not just from students, but from everyone involved.

The main responsibility for students is to be respectful and understand that Homecoming is not an excuse to vandalize and get out of control. If students make a choice to drink, they must also make the choice to obey laws and respect the expectations of the community. Just because some bars offer good specials, and Homecoming tradition is to drink as much as possible, disrespect doesn’t have to take place.

Bar owners also have responsibilities on Homecoming. In order to help keep the parade on Water Street, bar owners need to be strict on open container laws. By allowing drunken students to carry drinks onto the sidewalk, it is easier for them to overflow onto the street and disrupt the parade. The Homecoming parade belongs on Water Street, and enforcing that open containers be kept to the tavern area would help it remain there.

As for the police, their responsibility is to let their presence be known without going beyond their means. There is a lot of activity taking place during Homecoming, and to waste time dealing with every disturbance would be impossible. The police should issue warnings when situations get rowdy, but reserve the arrests and citations for the worst of the behavior. They should also leave yard parties be, for the most part. When students are forced to leave a party, especially if no harm is being done, they are left wondering what to do, and are more prone to engage in destructive behavior.

If everyone does their part, Homecoming can be a rewarding experience for all.