A free shuttle to the Grove on Halloween, what a fantastic idea! It saves student’s money and transports them safely. But someone forgot one important fact: there are hundreds, even thousands, who are interested in that shuttle.
This demand coupled with only three shuttles made for a mob scene outside of the UC on Halloween night.
A scary sight indeed. A gigantic crowd pushing as one, trying to fit inside a shuttle door. Obviously, it had the ingredients to get ugly quickly, and it did.
I was in that logjam. The pushing and shoving was laughable for a second, but then became worrisome and dangerous. A friend’s costume was ripped, putting a damper on her night. People were screaming, trying to create some order in the chaos. It was impossible to move, difficult to breathe and an overall dangerous scenario that could have been much worse.
The crowd should have been wiser, but the university should be ashamed of this scene, knowing that this could have, and most likely, would have evolved in such a manner.
So what should we make out of all of this? For me, it reaffirms the idea that this university has a tendency to do good things very badly. A large crowd trying to fit inside a shuttle door is a familiar sight to those who attend football games at the Orange Bowl, trying to get back to the Metrorail. There is absolute chaos, which ruins the benefit of this fantastic idea.
It worries me that this institution can’t maintain control of a crowd attempting to board a bus. What if this were something more serious, such as an evacuation, which isn’t such a far-fetched idea here in hurricane country. Would all the residents on campus be shoving themselves in to three shuttles? How many students would be injured (or worse) in that situation?
Luckily, the trouble last Tuesday wasn’t as serious. A little advanced planning would remove the need for police back up next time Um students try to go from point A to point B.
Matthew Bunch may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He was not present at the time of the incicdent, but was there earlier.