Quadfest: Nothing but trouble

I will be plain: I don’t like Quadfest. People come from all over Virginia to party in our little college town for a weekend and then leave. In their wake, they leave behind broken windows, damaged property, burned dumpsters and a soiled reputation. Those who are willing (or gullible) enough to open their houses to social activities find their homes quickly flooded by people they don’t know and soon after they are answering a knock on the door from the cops.

I’m not against partying and having a good time, but what irks me about Quadfest is that the point isn’t inter-collegiate interaction or camaraderie, but a school versus school drinking match. Inevitably this leads to masses of out-of-town kids wandering our streets drunk out of their minds. The police write hundreds of tickets, a lot of people spend the night in the drunk tank and the pictures of the aftermath make Radford University look horrible.

An officer issuing a breathalyzer test. Image from Creative Commons.

An officer issuing a breathalyzer test. Image from Creative Commons.

Last year, and again this year, I have had obscure friends from high school contact me about a place to crash or things to do during Quadfest. Word of the festivities travel quickly to other schools and they are anxious to come and see if it lives up to its reputation. They don’t seem to understand when I explain that I’m less than enthusiastic about the weekend.

It’s gotten to the point where my fraternity has decided to take no part in Quadfest whatsoever. Those of us who don’t have work will be leaving town to stay away from the sketchy conditions that abound with every Quadfest. It just isn’t worth it to risk life, limb or criminal record to stay and be a part of it.

Quadfest has quickly become far more trouble than it is worth. RU and the city of Radford both know when it’s coming and what will be happening and both of these entities are actively making attempts to snuff out this tradition. Last year the police set up a mobile headquarters behind the church on Tyler Ave. and had officers from Blacksburg and Roanoke come down for extra help. I have never seen so many police cars in such a concentrated area in my entire life. Just walking down the street made me feel like a criminal.

For a weekend I don’t feel welcome at my own school. What Quadfest boils down to is a boat load of college kids getting irresponsibly drunk while an excessive amount of police patrol the streets and try to enforce the law. The odds aren’t in our favor and the likelihood of getting in some form of legal trouble is quite high. Participate at your own risk but know that you won’t be seeing me out there Quadfest weekend.