President Barack Obama’s re-election sparked celebrations country-wide on Tuesday night, especially here in Massachusetts, where the democratic candidate won the electoral vote. Over at UMass Amherst, the sounds of “USA! USA!” bellowed from campus, leading to what students are describing as a “riot.”
Students already called it, tweeting out hours before the votes were counted:
After news was released Obama defeated republican nominee Mitt Romney, other students headed to Twitter, as well, asking, “Are we rioting or what?” And it didn’t take long for toilet paper to start falling from the sky.
UMass Amherst spokesman Daniel Fitzgibbons says there wasn’t riot, calling the event “a gathering of about 350 people.” He reports chanting broke out in the Southwest Residential area of campus around 11:30 p.m., and that students were monitored by the police. There was a broken window reported, according to Fitzgibbons, and students did try and light toilet paper on fire, “but the police dispersed the group after an hour.”
Earlier this year, 13 students were arrested at UMass Amherst for rioting after the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. At the time, UMass Amherst spokesman Edward Blaguszewski estimated there were 1,500 people rioting. Yet, other witnesses claimed the count was closer to 3,000. The riot eventually led to UMass police, Amherst police and Massachusetts State Police firing smoke bombs and pepper balls into the crowd 15 minutes after they had tried issuing dispersal orders.
Some students claimed there was bound to be a riot whether Obama won the presidential election or lost. One student tweeted, “Despite whatever happens tonight, I’m positive of one thing. UMass will riot.” Thankfully for the school, however, this semester’s celebration led to no serious issues, arrests or damages.
Below, you’ll find photos and videos taken by the crowd, who were proudly calling the school by its nickname “ZooMass Slamherst.”