Michigan State University students urged to "celebrate safely" during NCAA basketball tournament

Michigan State University and officials in East Lansing are encouraging students to keep NCAA tournament celebrating under control.
The school and city officials posted recommendations online, including a poster under the headline "Don't Get Burned." A statement says "taking part in destructive gatherings and burning furniture are not Spartan traditions." It also spells out legal consequences.
The warnings come after a rowdy celebration of Michigan State's victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten football championship game in December resulted in arrests. Police say there were at least 57 fires. Couches were burned and bonfires set.
The Spartans play Virginia in a regional semifinal Friday night in New York.
In-state rival Michigan plays Tennessee that night in Indianapolis.

Need-to-know messages for how to celebrate safely

MSU Spartans celebrate with class. In fact, 9 out of 10 watch out for friends to make sure they stay safe. Taking part in destructive gatherings and burning furniture are NOT Spartan traditions. To celebrate MSU successes like a true Spartan, follow these simple guidelines and share them with your friends:

  • DO NOT attend large gatherings that block the street or sidewalks.
  • DO NOT start, stoke, or fuel ANY type of fire.
  • DO NOT be a bystander. If someone you know is about to do something dumb, stop them.
  • COOPERATE with police.
  • IMMEDIATELY leave any unlawful gathering - even just observing IS participating. Better yet, don’t go in the first place.
  • Anyone within 300 feet of an open fire that is not actively leaving the area faces a misdemeanor charge. This is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Any student who is found responsible for participating in an unlawful assembly or riot is subject to disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from his/her school.
  • If you believe your rights have been violated by a police officer, obtain the officer’s badge number and consider filing a formal complaint at a later date.
  • These types of events are an embarassment to our community and our university. Don’t allow your degree to be devalued.


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