What I had experienced seemed absolutely nothing like a riot
Start writing a post
Life Stages

The West Virginia University 2019 'Riot' From A Student's Perspective

"Riot?" I keep thinking totally confused. What I had experienced seemed absolutely nothing like a riot.

The West Virginia University 2019 'Riot' From A Student's Perspective

Ever since August of 2016, I have called Spruce Street my home. The big house at the tippy top of the street has always been my safe heaven, and the rooms held the seven girls who I get to call my best friends. I still remember the very day I moved into this house, with a clear image of my mom in tears trying to get the moving truck up my mountain of a street and into the driveway.

Anyone who attends or has attended West Virginia University knows that Spruce is one of the most popular "off-campus" streets, due to its amazing location to either all campus buildings or downtown nightlife.

As a second semester freshman, back in 2016, I distinctly remember my first official snow day here at West Virginia University ("The Snow Day of 2016"). It was filled with endless amounts of people, sledding, snowboarding, and skiing down one of the very biggest hills in Morgantown- Spruce Street. This snow day was probably one of my favorite and most distinct memories of the beginning of my journey here at the University. And little did I know that two years later, I'd be calling the location of this epic event "home". I remember this day so distinctly in my mind and I remember having this constant thought that the WVU atmosphere was so amazing. I loved being apart of such a friendly and fun community.

Over the past four years as a West Virginia University student, there has only been one official snow day, which resulted in the the "Snow Day of 2016". Ever since, students have been patiently waiting for the opportunity to have a redo of what was done back in 2016. And come February 1, 2019, we were able to do just that.

I remember waking up to a handful of texts from my friends talking about all of the snow we had gotten the night before. Confused, I sat up and opened my curtains to see the town of Morgantown covered in at least three inches of snow. Not even an our later, I received the automated text from the University informing us students that for the third day in a row, class would be canceled.

Throughout the morning, my roommates and I all decided that we'd probably spend the rest of our day enjoying our time off at the neighbors house. Yet, as the morning went on, I started receiving more and more text messages asking if I was going to be home and that "everyone is coming to Spruce".

Quickly, I got dressed and headed down to our neighbors. The second I walked out of my front door, I realized it was going to be just like that 2016 day all over again. Students started gathering together at the top of the hill, and we watched as many of them either sledded or snowboarded their way down.

As the day progressed, more and more West Virginia University students started to gather on the street. Every couple of minutes, I would turn around to see another friend bundled up and headed down the street to find their friends. Everyone had huge smilies across their faces and the houses began to bring out speakers to their porches. Soon the entire street was fulled with upbeat music and students.

The next thing I know, the entire street was a huge cloud of gray smoke and there were screams from all over the street. People started sprinting into houses, many of them being locked out by the individuals who lived there. Teargas covered the entire street, and many students had multiple bruises across their bodies from rubber bullets. Being that the street consists of run down, older style homes, most of the windows of these houses are not properly sealed, leaving just about everyone with on or in a house on Spruce Street affected by the tear gas. I was in complete and utter shock about what had just occurred.

Within minutes there was already multiple news reports and articles that had surfaced about the "2019 Riot on Spruce Street".

"Riot?" I kept thinking totally confused. What I had experienced seemed absolutely nothing like a riot.

After reading many articles and viewing several new reports, I then had a better understanding of the situation. Being the daughter of a police officer, I always tend to have an endless amount of love and respect for authority and greatly appreciate all that they do to ensure the community's safety. I was completely appalled that certain individuals would do things such as throw beer cans, or even rocks at the officers. However, I did not and do not think that chemical weapons and rubber bullets were necessary remotely.

Over the duration of the day, I personally did not hear a single siren, announcement over a police car speaker, or was given any type of instruction to leave the vicinity. If authority believed that such extreme force was necessary, I would hope to trust their judgment. However, other forms of dispersal methods could have definitely been used more effectively before hand.

In the end, my stance on this issue remains unclear. I am typically the first person to understand why certain things would be done in specific situations, but being that I experienced this event first-hand, I am truly confused and bothered by the events that happened this past Friday.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

A TikTok Ban? Nope, That's Not Happening

We've seen this movie before with the popular social media app.


Here we go again. There's a groundswell of support to ban TikTok in the United States.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Check out what's trending on Odyssey!

writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something

Looking for some inspiration to kick off your Monday? Check out these articles by our talented team of response writers! From poetry to tips for manifesting your dream life, there's something for everyone.

Keep Reading... Show less

Exploring the Superbowl's Historic 50 Year Legacy!

Building up to next Sunday

football game
astros / Flickr

The Superbowl is the biggest football event of the year, and the 50-year history of the competition has seen a lot of memorable moments. The event first began in 1967, when the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game was played in Los Angeles. Since then, the NFL has grown from a small regional competition to an international phenomenon. Over the course of the last 50 years, the Superbowl has seen some amazing plays, memorable moments and incredible records. This includes Tom Brady's record of five Superbowl titles, the first time the Patriots won three consecutive championships, and the Steelers' record of six Superbowl titles. The event has also become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of people tuning in each year to watch the big game. There are now commercials, halftime shows, and other events that make the Superbowl a true American spectacle.

Keep Reading... Show less
11 Genres Of Music That Originated From Black Culture

Numbers don't lie, up in the charts many times, black culture has defined the music industry. Music is a worldly language that can be understood by people all over the world. You bet black culture has taken over the music industry, but not from the way you may think. I'm not talking about their prominent presence in the rap game, but the origins of eleven different genres of music. Black culture is always using their heritage and ancestral knowledge to transmute the current energy to a higher frequency. Personally, I'm not surprised that many of these music genres have originated from black culture. Thankfully, I've been able to grow up in a diverse environment. I can only thrive in a diversity of friends.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Influence Of Music

Music is more than just instruments and vocals.

Elyse Music

Music is a powerful concept all on its own. There’s something alluring about being able to cut out the rest of the world, and surrounding yourself with harmonious sounds that synthesize together in a pleasant manner.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments