Cal Poly students opened their e-mail accounts Monday night and found a message from the university regarding Mardi Gras.
Vice President for Student Affairs Cornel Morton sent out an e-mail informing students that Cal Poly supports the city of San Luis Obispo’s campaign for a quiet Mardi Gras weekend.
“Your responsible behavior during the Mardi Gras 2005 showed everyone that Cal Poly students care for this community, and for the safety of their own neighborhoods. We urge you to demonstrate that care, concern and responsible citizenship again this year,” Morton said in the e-mail.
Morton commented on the e-mail and said, “The vast majority of students are respectful and want to represent the university positively.”
Each year fewer students remember the incident on California and Foothill Boulevards in February 2004.
In the two years since the riot that was broadcasted on CNN, many students who remember the event have graduated and new students are left wondering what actually happened.
“There was a riot?” asked Shaun Kenville, a business sophomore, when questioned if he had heard anything about Mardi Gras before coming to Cal Poly.
Even 2005’s “Poly Gras” has slipped into an ancient past for some students.
Students who remember the riot can understand Cal Poly’s endorsement of a Mardi Gras-free weekend.
“I’m in support of controlling Mardi Gras if that is what is best for the city,” said Matt Hensch, a graphic communication senior. “I think everyone is over it. Instead of partying with 3,000 people they party with 10 instead,” Hensch said.
Morton said that the e-mail “is not intended to sound like Big Brother.” And although his name is attached to it, all four university vice presidents and president Warren Baker endorse the position on Mardi Gras.
“Please stay safe and avoid large crowds. Discourage friends from other towns from coming here that weekend. Also take interest in the safety of fellow students. You may be in a position to take actions that protect others from harm,” the e-mail stated.
Students read the e-mail and few expressed a negative reaction toward the university or Morton.
“I will probably be in town and not doing anything,” Manabe said.