by: Gary Horcher Updated:
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - When Western Washington University student Ian Vincent saw hundreds of people rioting and damaging police cars outside his Bellingham home Saturday night, he decided to take action.
“When the cops started clearing people out, I went out with other students and swept up all the broken glass and debris,” he said.
A day later, when Vincent saw his school’s name being tainted in headlines all over the country—describing the violent riot near campus—he decided it was time to “sweep up” the image of his school.
“It shocked me and it angered me because this is my home,” said Vincent, a WWU senior. “I love this place. The people here have never been so supportive. I always encourage everyone to go to school here."
Vincent says out of hundreds of faces in the mob, he didn’t recognize a single student from campus. “I don’t know who they were,” he said, noting that three people arrested by police are not WWU students.
“I was trying to find a way that students could get together and show the community that we are sorry for what happened and we do not condone this kind of behavior at all,” he said.
On Monday, Western Washington University Associated Student President Carly Roberts drafted a resolution, condemning the actions of rioters.
“This is not indicative of Western students, this is not representative of our community at all,” Roberts said. “My inbox has been flooded with emails from students who just want to do something to show this is not what western students do!"
On Monday, Bellingham Police released seven photographs showing smashed windows on their patrol cars.
The riot erupted after police broke up a block party, with college-age revelers. Police called in backup from every direction and finally disbursed rioters who threw bottles, rocks and even furniture at patrol cars.
“This is not what our students are all about”, said Roberts. “If students are arrested for doing any of those things, they have not place on this campus,” she said.