Radford University students worried about the atmosphere of Quadfest after JMU riots

April 21, 2010
  • Many Radford students are expecting the worst after what happened two weeks ago at JMU's Springfest.
Many Radford students are expecting the worst after what happened two weeks ago at JMU's Springfest.

It will be a party like atmosphere this weekend in Radford as thousands come out for the annual Quadfest.

But many are expecting the worst after what happened two weeks ago at JMU's Springfest.

Harrisonburg Police had to use pepper spray and tear gas to disperse a crowd of about 8,000 people after fights broke out and some partiers threw bottles and rocks at officers.

Police ended up arresting 30 people.

News 7's Justin McLeod talked to University leaders and Radford police on Wednesday, they're hoping students will act responsibly.

Students on the other hand believe what happened at JMU has ruined it for everyone.

From playing music, to throwing around the frisbee students here at Radford University are ready for spring.

It will get into full swing this weekend with Quadfest.

"It's time to relax. Time to have some fun before our finals and let some steam off," says Radford University Senior, Chase Sessor.


Quadfest is an off campus celebration that often involves a lot of drinking.

It has a reputation for being pretty wild but students says it's not that bad.

"It doesn't get pretty wild. They've controlled it pretty well the last few years," says Radford University Senior, Steven Schwartz.

Especially after 2005 when a near riot broke out and police had to call in reinforcements to keep the crowd under control.

A distant memory for these students but they're still talking about what happened recently at JMU.

"I was appalled at it. I thought it was ridiculous. I thought it was like an embarrassment," says Radford University Sophomore Courtney Stanley.

Students fear in light of what happened at JMU, police will overreact at Quadfest.

"What if they just put the swat team out. What if we can't even do anything. I feel like they ruined it," says Radford University Sophomore Jenny Johnstone.

Radford Police say they're not doing anything differently because of JMU, they had already planned to be out in full force.

Radford Police made 80 arrests last year at Quadfest and wrote more than 600 violations mainly for public intoxication, having an open container, and underage drinking.

The police chief and the dean of students met with all student athletes and leaders of the greek community to remind them to act responsibly during Quadfest, especially after JMU.

"I think a lot of people are scared about how there will be more cops and just everybody is on edge on what's going to happen," says Radford University Junior, Amanda Sinn.

There is an alternative to Quadfest this year. Ki Alpha Christian Fellowship has put together something called Jesusfest complete with music and free food.

"What we're trying to do is bring a positive spin to it, give an alternative to those students fun, fellowship and things like that without the guilt and hangovers that come next morning from Quadfest," says Campus Pastor, Frank Ubaney.

Radford Police are investigating a possible threat against Quadfest. It was posted to an online site where Quadfest was being discussed.

It was apparently some sort of code that could be interpreted as "I will kill" and referenced April 23rd.

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