"Critic"-Reaktion auf Undie 500

Um einmal die offizielle Reaktion der Studentenvertreter zum diesjährigen Undie 500 darzustellen, stelle ich hier das Editorial von Amy Joseph in der aktuellen (Issue 24 vom 21. Sept. 2009) Critic rein. Die Critic ist die wöchentlich erscheinende Studentenzeitung. Dieses Editorial stellt das durchschnittliche Niveau der Critic recht gut da. Ich bemühe mich Tippfehler zu vermeiden, kann sie aber nicht ausschließen. Hier und da habe ich eigene (erklärende) Anmerkungen gemacht. Eine Übersetzung werde ich nicht nachliefern.

Every year during the Undie 500, a small group of people seem to get off on acting like twats and causing harm to other people and property.
Every year *after* the Undie 500, a much larger group of people delights in playing the blame game.
You can see who is throwing mud at whom in our news coverage (begins p6), in your Letters (p14), in the Diatribe (p15), in the President's column (p31) in our Internet wrap-up (p36) and even on the Food page (p51).
Candidates include ENSOC [Anm. v. mir: Engineering Society of Canterbury], Canterbury students, the DCC, the Edgar Centre, Peter Chin [Anm. v. mir: Dunedins Bürgermeister], poor parenting, and alcohol companies.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the blame lies with one group and one group only: the people who were on Castle St smashing bottles on the ground, on cops and on random bystanders; lighting, feeding and jumping over fires; antagonising police and refusing to obey instructions; wrecking cars and assorted furniture; and standing around egging on those doing various combinations of the above.
The presence of cops in protective gear does not justify your behaviour; their shields and helmets do not magically attract glass bottles from your helpless hands.
Large amounts of alcohol do not absolve you of responsibility; many students get very drunk on a routine basis, but they do not act like complete animals in the precess.
The fact that there was no official event organised was no excuse to create this 'entertainment' on your own; the Undie 500 rally came to Dunedin for many years without an organised focus on the Saturday night, and yet somehow did not descend into chaos. (The cops are not blameless; they faced the difficult task of policing an area that was both the side of a riot and a home to many who were simply not quick enough to recognise the moment the event turned from revelry to rioting and whisk themselves away behind closed doors.
Mistakes, bad judgement, and simple heavy-handedness were regretful but inevitable, and hopefully the officers involved will face consequences where appropriate, although I am doubtful they will.)

Of cause, it is easy to identify where the finger of blame should squarely be pointed, but it is unsatisfying to do so because it does not suggest easy solutions.
Banning the rally is easy; organising an event takes slightly more effort, but it is a clearly defined task.
Working out how to stop students being idiots in and around their own houses is nigh-on impossible.
A good start would be to see a high number of exclusions as the University works through its disciplinary process.
Screw double jeopardy: these muppets have been warned time and time again.
I argue against excluding first years after the toga parade, but that was because I could see why they thought that their actions were merely part of an extremely rambunctious tradition after the way they were 'greeted' by older students.
No one on Castle St last weekend can possible argue that they thought bottling cops was merely acceptable hi-jinks.

The crowd on Castle St represented a very small fraction of the total student body, and contained a significant proportion of non-Otago students.
But, compared to arrest statistics for previous Undie 500 weekends, it was definitely Otago students who caused the trouble this time.
Most of the official participants of the rally behaved themselves.
The Undie 500 can certainly no longer come to Dunedin for several years at least, but it is our own fault.
Good luck getting permission for a toga parade next year either after your little display last weekend.

Thanks to the Undie 500 participants for their donations to our struggling foodbanks.
I wish ENSOC well in a rerouted rally in future.

The Undie has left but our problems remain

Abschließend eine kleines bisschen Statistik. Hier die Zahlen der Festnahmen während des Undie 500 in den letzten vier Jahren:
2006: 67
2007: 52
2008: 30 (Undie 500 war offiziell abgesagt worden; inoffiziell fand es dennoch statt - nur kleiner)
2009: 80

Bei Bedarf und Interesse kann ich gerne weitere offizielle Stellungnahmen und Kommentare von verschiedenen Stellen weitergeben. Die aktuelle Ausgabe der Critic werde ich (als kleines Andenken) behalten.

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