Can campus mayhem be prevented?

It is one of life’s truisms that learning to hold one’s liquor, and how not to act like a fool, are both requisites for adulthood. One of life’s ironies is that college, ostensibly a place where one goes to become smarter, is also where many young people act more stupid than one might expect.

Alas, these seemingly contradictory conditions were spectacularly on display over the weekend in the University of Dayton student ghetto, when a crowd reported at 1,000 (roughly one-tenth the size of the student body, for what that might be worth) marked St. Patrick’s contributions to western culture by breaking a lot of beer bottles and jumping on some cars. The police responded. News coverage resulted.

That’s too bad, for it comes at at time when UD has been enjoying favorable national attention for basketball and academics. Reputations are a delicate thing — something yet to occur to a lot of students, apparently, but a point not lost on the administration, which is studying appropriate responses and preventative measures. “All options are on the table,” an official said. Spankings, while called for, are probably not being considered. Too bad.

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