I stepped onto my concrete stoop in the morning to see a small dried up pool of vomit and six or seven bright yellow hats with their tags still attached piled in the dirt. It was Sunday, the day after a University of Oregon gameday, which left its mark across Eugene. I love my Ducks, do not get me wrong, but I think it is about time we as a school have a conversation about behavior on gameday.
Having recently turned 21, I am no stranger to drinking, so I understand the allure of a gameday and frequently participate in the festivities myself. That being said, last weekend I bore witness to a few too many fights or almost fights and a disturbing amount of overly intoxicated adults.
That’s right — I am not here to just point a finger at college students indulging in school spirit and making the most of our green and yellow holiday, but also their parents and the Eugene regulars who take gamedays as an opportunity to act immature.
Gamedays act as a green light for public intoxication and that is nothing new, but it is only recently that I have felt like it negatively impacted my day. My apartment is on the ground level of my building, which certainly does not help, but that does not mean I enjoy being serenaded by the whooping and shrieking of Duck fans all day long.
You would think late evening games would mean quiet mornings, but you would be very wrong. It is called gameday for a reason, not game afternoon or morning, and people celebrating all day reflects that.
The next item of business is the profuse littering that occurs. Like I mentioned before, when I stepped outside my apartment that morning, I saw quite a few of the hats that were handed out in the stadium strewn across the ground.
These hats fall into what I like to call UO sanctioned littering — that includes any items handed out to drunk people in the stadium. I am very grateful that UO gives us the benefit of the doubt when handing out knick-knacs, but it should be clear by now that more of them will end up in the river or on the sidewalk than in someone’s home or trash can.
Of course I cannot neglect to mention the alcohol and food litter that ends up everywhere. Takeout boxes, cans and bottles are in high supply, something that I am sure is not unique to Eugene. It is gross and sad to see nonetheless.
Then there is the spike of violence. While at a bar the night of gameday, I had more than one drunk adult man try and create some sort of altercation with me or another bystander. Being as aversive to conflict as I am, it was easy to avoid the situation, but not everyone was so lucky. Two kids I know got jumped by someone and ended up in the hospital that night, and I hate to say it, but they are definitely not the first.
Of the issues I brought up, it is the violence and littering that I think are the most pressing. Next game day, consider drinking less and actually throwing away your cans and bottles.
Remember it’s not usually a sober person who sends people to the hospital for school spirit. I think something needs to change eventually or there will be far reaching consequences for all of UO. I love gameday and it’s time we started treating it as the privilege it really is.