Flash: This Just In: Rowdy Whiteboys Acting Up Again at UC Berkeley

Becky O'Malley
Sunday November 01, 2015 - 09:25:00 AM

The conjunction of a lingering supermoon, a football game and Halloween seems to have produced a traditional testosterone-and-alcohol-fueled uproar on Berkeley's Fraternity Row last night, reminiscent of the popular "panty raids" of my youth (well,other people's youth in my time frame). The local blogisphere called it a "huge riot" (Berkeley police respond to huge Southside riot), though not much actual damage or illegal activity of any kind were reported by the Berkeley police, who turned out in large numbers wearing their trademark scary outfits to join the fun.

"No, I would not call it a riot,"Officer Andrew Rateaver of the Berkeley Police Department told me this morning. He said it was between three and five thousand people who all got out of parties at the same time shortly after midnight, producing a few fights, one assault charge and one "medical contact". Nothing political about it, he said.

The Nixle.com website, to which I subscribe because it's supposed to report police activity in Berkeley, has said nothing yet about the event.

This sort of thing has been going on in college towns for a long time now. It was worse in the 14th Century.

Wikipedia reports:

"The St Scholastica Day riot of 10 February 1355, is one of the more notorious events in the history of Oxford, England.[1] Sparked off by a tavern dispute between two students and a taverner, the riot lasted two days and resulted in a large number of deaths among local citizens and students. The ensuing pacification led to a reinforcement and enlargement of the privileges and liberties of the academic institutions over the town."