AMHERST, Ma. – Students at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst rioted in celebration Tuesday after the school’s police department announced that Monday had passed without a single reported slaying, stabbing, shooting or shivving in any of the school’s five residential areas, four dining halls, or three academic buildings, the first such day since October 18, 1973.
The violence-free stretch lasted for approximately 36 hours, beginning Sunday evening, when a student was stabbed in the bathroom of the school’s Worcester Dining Commons, and continuing until early Tuesday morning, when a student was trampled during the celebration, police said.
UMPD Chief Gregory McAllister described Monday as an “encouraging sign” that the school’s mortality rate might be on the decline.
“After one of the bloodiest academic years in recent memory, we in the department are incredibly relieved to see some of our efforts from this past summer are starting to pay off.”
Among those efforts has been the institution of the “Gats-for-Packs” program, which invites students and faculty alike to trade in their “firearms, switchblades, explosives, and chemical weapons” with no risk of prosecution in exchange for “backpacks, scissors, glue sticks, rulers, crayons, and any other supplies that may be deemed necessary to succeed at this institution.”
A sophomore rioter who requested anonymity informed The Muck-Rake that she had taken advantage of the program and traded in her Smith & Wesson Model 4506 semi-automatic pistol for “some colored pencils and a fuckin’ wicked Lisa Frank folder.”
Added the student, “It was real nice to go out and flip some cars and burn some Ray Allen jerseys on account of nobody getting killed or whatever.”