Even after the bans on party buses and inappropriate T-shirts at the Tommie-Johnnie football game, some students still rode party buses at least part of the way to the game, and some students snuck forbidden T-shirts into the stadium.
“I saw a lot of party buses on the way up,” sophomore Peter Bryan said. “I saw a fair amount of inappropriate T-shirts at the game, too.”
But Dean of Students Karen Lange said that from her perspective, everything went really well and most St. Thomas students behaved themselves at the game.
“So many students dressed very appropriately, and there were lots of sweatshirts,” Lange said. “My sense was that the majority of students were wearing really positive T-shirts with good messages.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Jane Canney sent 200 T-shirts with appropriate messages to the Tommie-Johnnie game to be exchanged for students’ inappropriate T-shirts. Lange said roughly 100 of the T-shirts were used at the game, and the rest are being returned.
“At the beginning, they told students to go back to their cars and change, and the students were really cooperative,” she said. She added that the St. John’s University Dean of Students Mike Connelly told her in an e-mail that “the shirt exchange was well-received.”
Sophomore Liz Engelbrekt attended this year’s and last year’s Tommie-Johnnie games, and she said students find ways to bypass the T-shirt exchange policy.
“Last year I got in trouble for wearing a shirt, but I didn’t have another one, so one of my friends just gave me her jacket and I got in,” she said. “After you get past the gate, no one is checking or cares.”
Party buses and public intoxication
Lange said she heard from students that they still tried to take party buses to the game, even though St. John’s had banned any “unsanctioned buses” from driving onto the campus.
“What I heard from many students is that they were telling the buses to go to St. Joseph and not stop directly at St. Ben’s, but nearby,” Lange said. “Then the students were able to ride the Link, the student shuttle, to St. John’s.”
Public intoxication was another issue that both St. Thomas’ and St. John’s administrations were concerned with. Bryan said he noticed a number of students at the game had been drinking.
“Students definitely looked like they were under the influence,” he said.
Engelbrekt said she also saw intoxicated students at the game.
“One of my friend’s brothers got in trouble for drinking at the game and got kicked out a few times, but he had his ticket stub so he just kept getting back in,” she said. “I feel that if the game had been at St. Thomas it would have been a lot stricter.”
St. John’s student incidents
St. Thomas students weren’t the only ones who got into trouble at the game. A group of St. John’s students appeared on a hill during the game, dressed in costumes and holding a banner reading, “UST SUCKS.” They blew vuvuzelas and horns and then disappeared into the woods before security officers reached them.
The sign then reappeared in the student section where it was passed around by the students. Later on in the game, two St. John’s students raced across the football field dressed only in Speedos. One student dived into the Johnnie student section and disappeared from view, while the other was escorted off the field by security.
Neither St. Thomas’ Public Safety nor St. John’s life safety departments responded before deadline regarding the number of public intoxication citations issued at the game or the number of total incidents reported during the game.
Maggie Clemensen contributed to this report.
Katie Broadwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.