The Largest College Campus Riots Of All Time
Whether over tough sports losses, in support of political causes, or just because 10,000 students felt like tearing shit up one day, here are the largest college campus riots of all time! Happy Friday!
10. Berkeley Riots Inspire Later Movements
College: University of California, Berkeley City: Berkeley, CA Date: Late 1960s Number Of People Involved: Thousands Some say the Berkeley Riots of the 1960s paved the way for the more famous campus protests that ensued.
Spurred by the free speech, civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the riots encompassed a number of student activist protests!
9. National Guard Members Kill War Protesters at Kent State
College: Kent State University City: Kent, OH Date: 5/4/1970 Number of People Involved: ~2,000
In what may go down as the most infamous riot response in history, members of the National Guard fired 67 rounds at a northern Ohio crowd protesting the invasion of Cambodia in April 1970.
8. Celebration Goes Awry at Iowa State
College: Iowa State University City: Ames, Iowa Date: 4/18/2004 Number of People Involved: ~2,000
Students at Iowa State University did a modest four-bedroom house’s worth of damage to their beloved campus in the early morning hours of April 18, 2004, during an annual week long celebration held in Ames each spring. Police armed with pepper spray and tear gas faced off against a pack of 2,000 rabid Iowans that spilled out into the street shortly after officers attempted to break up a 400-person party deemed unruly.
7. Ole Miss Students Protest James Meredith’s Enrollment
College: University of Mississippi City: Oxford, MS Date: 10/1/1962 Number of People Involved: ~2,500
Students at the University of Mississippi went to excessive lengths to prevent a black student from enrolling at the their school in 1962. Meredith was allowed to enroll nonetheless and a team of 6,000 law-enforcement officials (including members of the American military) was dispatched to control the ensuing riots. Two were killed, and a few hundred were injured and arrested.
6. College Fest Turns Violent
College: Kent State University City: Kent, OH Date: 4/21/2012 Number of People Involved: ~3,000
Students at College Fest, an annual block party Kent State students hold near the end of the school year, got a little out of hand last year, prompting police and emergency medical response.
Thirty-three were eventually arrested after the crowd of hundreds grew unruly, with some throwing bricks and bottles at officers and each other. A SWAT team was eventually dispatched to get the crowd under control. Tear gas and flash-bang devices curbed the senseless violence.
5. Maryland Riots After Loss to Duke
College: University of Maryland City: College Park, MD Date: 3/31/2001 Number of People Involved: ~5,000
Students at the University of Maryland—a repeat offender on the list—caused nearly $500,000 in damage between March 31 and April 1, 2001, after a bonfire set by fans got out of hand. The riots took place after the Terps blew a 22-point lead in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, losing to Duke
4. Ohio State Fans Rush Streets Following Championship Berth
College: Ohio State University City: Columbus, OH Date: 11/23/2003 Number of People Involved: ~5,000
Fans celebrated Ohio State’s 14-9 win first by rushing the field, then pouring into the streets. Windshields were smashed, cars were rolled over, and fires were started many a corner. The night in Columbus was especially tragic for local couches, many of which were reduced to ash. In all, a crowd of 5,000 started 107 fires and destroyed 20 cars, leading to 70 arrests.
3. Pandemonium in Maryland for the NCAA Championship
College: University of Maryland City: College Park, MD Date: 4/1/2002 Number of People Involved: ~5,000
On April Fool’s Day, 2002, University of Maryland students broke into senseless pandemonium following a defeat of Indiana in the NCAA men’s basketball championship. Nearly 5,000 took to the streets to celebrate the school’s first title, no doubt consuming copious amounts of alcohol in the process and engaging in generally destructive behavior throughout the night.
2. Michigan State Fans Mob After Loss
College: Michigan State University City: East Lansing, MI Date: 3/27/1999 Number of People Involved: Between 5,000-10,000
Between 5,000 and 10,000 disappointed fans unleashed their frustration upon the streets of East Lansing following Sparty’s loss to Duke in the 1999 NCAA Final Four. The mob set fire to anything in its path, including couches and cars. In all, 132 were arrested—including 71 students—following the affair, and assessments of damage were as high as $500,000.
1. Kentucky Students Flood Lexington Streets to Celebrate
College: University of Kentucky City: Lexington, KY Date: 3/31/2012 Number of People Involved: ~10,000
Chaos erupted in the streets of Lexington the night the Wildcats beat in-state rival Louisville in the Final Four to advance to the NCAA Men’s basketball championship. Reports of cars being flipped were abundant, and around 50 nuisance fires were reported. Approximately 10 arrests were made, and officers used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
Top Photo Credit: Getty Images