SIU Student Responds To Our Article About Police At Solar Bear

Solar Bear SIU Response

Not everyone is going to agree with what we write. We’re not upset by that, in fact we welcome criticism and different opinions. It means that we’re doing something right.

So this morning we received a DM from a Southern Illinois University student who had her own belief about what went down at Solar Bear, specifically in regards to the police presence and the reaction this caused among the students. You can read that article in full below.

We soon realized that what started as a conversation needed to be written in a post here on COED. So here’s her rebuttal, which makes some very valid points and is a smart read for college students everywhere:


Article submitted and written by @Colleen_Cath

As an SIU student, I’m all for events like Solar Bear, Polar Bear, Tour, and Unofficial. However, I have to say that the article written the other day about Solar Bear wasn’t fair at all. It made sound like the police were there to be a buzzkill and ruin the day.

The opening line of the article was “Leave it to the cops to spoil a good time.”….The kid broke the law, an officer asked to see his ID, he took off running, and then he was belligerent towards the cop when he was caught. The officers were trying to handle that situation and the crowd kept moving in (including the kid filming) and were quite honestly in the way and out of line.

People were acting like savages on Saturday. I understand this is what happens when literally mobs of people are binge drinking all day, but it’s not an excuse to be a destructive savage with no regards to the people who are there to make sure no one gets hurt. At the end of the day, I even asked one of the officers if he was tired after patrolling around all day, and he just told me he was glad that everyone had a good time and no one got hurt.

As far as the people that are pissed they got maced? Well maybe the next time they see the police REASONABLY trying to handle a situation, they should back the hell up out of the way instead of moving closer and closer. I didn’t see this particular altercation happen, but it can clearly be seen in the picture and video taken right before the mace came out.

[Editor’s Note: Here’s a video of one such incident]

The guy filming, including the surrounding people were entirely way too close to the situation that was happening. If you, me, or frankly anyone else at all was a police officer trying to manage the event, and were in an already difficult situation trying to wrestle with a belligerent college student, and people started chucking beer cans/garbage at you, I’m pretty sure anyone would do whatever it took to get people to back off. He didn’t spray it just at the camera man, he waved it around in an attempt to get people to back off. There is no brutality there–period.

I live in the building that had the speakers on the front porch so I literally had MOBS of people in front of my house–which is fine because it’s solar bear, and I had a good time. My point I’m trying to make is that your article–not just yours, but others as well–often make it seem like the police/event managers are there to bring down the event. And maybe that is true. However, there’s continually a small group of students that continue to screw it up for everyone else. But the people who were being belligerent? Destructive? The guy on the roof of the building? Was there really a need to chuck beer cans and trash at the buildings? By 1:30 PM, I personally saw an officer ask a guy to see his ID, and the guy took off running through a huge crowd of people! People had damage done to the inside and outside of their houses; we specifically had at least 4 people barge into our house trying to use our bathrooms or walk through. I just think someone should say something on this perspective too. This is my first year living at Aspen and I love these events. It’s only the start of September, but I can already see why the management/police have a god damn fit every year.


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