COLUMN: Keep on staying classy, CMU

After Saturday, I’m embarrassed.

Not as a football fan.

Not that we still call Dan Enos head football coach. (Come on, really?)

No, I’m embarrassed as a student.

Congrats, CMU students, you managed to prove why Michigan State and the University of Michigan call us their younger sibling.

Whether it was stories of racism at tailgate, trying to start fights with MSU students in the stadium, knocking over trash and recycling receptacles being paid for to clean up after your sloppiness, CMU students in general made a great name for this university.

It’s pathetic. After the SGA worked with CMU Athletics to bring back tailgate, SGA President Justin Gawronski was one of the people who contributed to a letter asking students to “Keep it classy.”

‘We should have no trouble with that,’ I thought. ‘While tailgate was always crazy I never felt there was a moment where people were completely disrespectful.’

On Saturday I heard of stories of a female CMU student passing by an elderly couple wearing Michigan State apparel.

‘Asshole, Asshole, Asshole,’ she shouted at them.

Great work, guys. We’ve managed to reach a whole new level of trashy.

It’s sad this has to even be written down, but it seems that CMU students can’t even compose themselves to act somewhat decent for a football game.

Earlier this week, Central Michigan Life published a story about CMU students that planned to root for MSU. Tensions erupted on both our Facebook page and website comments regarding the story. Understandable, CMU students want those that got in for free to root for CMU, despite the fact that CMU students already paid for their ticket by paying for the athletic budget.

That being put aside, just because someone doesn’t root for the same team as you doesn’t give you the ability to not treat them as a human. Just because you’re drunk doesn’t give you the right to treat other people like garbage.

In the name of “Chippewa Pride” people were rude, angry and downright terrible. We aren’t animals.

If it’s really that hard to respect your fellow human at CMU, then hell, maybe I’m a senior at the right time.

One thing is for sure, Saturday was a disgrace to CMU alums and to those that have any affiliation with this university whatsoever.

Sorry, CMU, we’re still the little brother in so many ways.


  1. michmediaperson says:

    Well said, Eric. You are a credit to the CMU family. It was mentioned on some of the MSU fan boards about the CMU student conduct. We just don’t have a big-time student body. Part of that is the Administration’s lack of control.
    Keep up the good job as editor this semester! Enjoy reading the paper.

  2. Eric, I wasn’t there to experience the atmosphere, but I will tell you that as a professional writer, you have the courage of your convictions and opinion. Despite the title of your article, you have demonstrated that you are “classy” by choosing to write it and call for action. That’s a good start to improve an attitude …

  3. As an alum I am saddened to read this. Chippewa Pride is indeed something all of us, current students and alum, need to demonstrate. This Saturday we played host to the largest universaity in the state. A fanbase that travels to the largest and most successful universities in the nation. This was our opportunity to represent Central Michigan with pride and humility. We are not less of a university than Michigan State!? Of course, if our actions lead others to believe we are THEN we are less of a university. I hosted family and friends, most of them Spartans, for the game. I opened my home and treated them to a fun afternoon of tailgate food and beverage – and football. When the game got out of hand, we pulled out a bottle and toasted our universities. It was a fun day despite the score. Did I hope our team would perform better?…of course. In the end, this game is not me, but I am Central Michigan. And we had Spartans toasting Central in a spirited display of rivalry and respect. Is that a bad day?
    Students and alum around the nation, be who you are and be proud.
    Always a Chippewa!

  4. Thanks for writing. Though it hurt to read.

    I had heard from many media outlets here in Detroit Metro that the atmosphere was amazing. I hope there was some positiveness that came from the Spartan’s visit, they really did us a favor coming to Mt. Pleasant.

    • CMU Alum '78 says:

      The adults at the game, treated each other like adults. I, too, saw some shameful actions from CMU students.

      • Oooh, it appears I hit a nerve!! I stand by what I said – the adults were great; the “kids” – not so much. CMU students had the chance to be classy, but some chose not to be. CMU students had the chance to be “better” than MSU students, but some chose not to be. Many only came to the stadium area to get drunk, and had no desire to be there for the game or to support the football team. What was THAT about?? We parked in Theunissen parking lot, and it was a garbage dump where students were tailgating – but not where the adults were. Hmmm…so what does THAT say, students???

        • frmatmn2ashes says:

          It says that you obviously have no connection to the younger generation and are pretty out-of-touch.

          • CMU Alum '78 says:

            You assume far too much fratboy! I work with college students on a regular basis, so I am NOT out of touch as you erroneously imply. Open wide so you can make room for that foot of yours!

          • frmatmn2ashes says:

            Oh, you work with college students? That practically makes you a modern one through transitive property, right? And sorry, no Greeks here. I can infer by you strange use of punctuation that you are creepy as hell.

  5. Its college football…In State Rivalry… Over one hundred thousand people in mount pleasant… Lots of alcohol.. How could anything have possibly gone wrong!!!?

  6. GoFireUpChips says:

    Oh hey I missed the part where this was D1 college football.

  7. Although what you say may be true, I think that more credit needs to be given to those that do exemplify the Chippewa Spirit and what it truly means to be an active member of this campus. Although we feel shame for those few who made a poor example of CMU, we must also shine light on those do-gooders i.e. Alumni turnout, donors, the Chippewa Marching Band, etc… The Marching Band is there through thick and thin no matter what the circumstances. They represent what it means to be a Chippewa.

  8. Student Employee says:

    Although this is true, what is to be said about MSU as well? I work at a campus dining store and I had SO many Spartans come in and make their school look just as bad. Throw up all over the counter from one too many drinks, buying us out of Bosco sticks to curb their munchies, yelling “GO GREEN, GO WHITE!” right in my face so I could catch their whiskey-covered breath, downright rude, in-my-face, and with a “Serve me, girl” attitude. Sure, some obnoxious customers were Chippewas, but I think the visiting team should have a little more respect. All I have to say is: What circle of Dante’s Inferno did you crawl out of in order to come visit OUR school and treat me like that?

  9. This stuff happens at every college football game, even more so at the bigger schools like MSU and U of M. That’s what happens when you put thousands of people together at a football game with alcohol. Get over it.

  10. Is this a joke? Did you write about how hurt we were when we got pelted with pennies at the last Michigan State game in East Lansing? Are you foolish enough to think that Central were the only ones that made racist comments? Have you even BEEN to a Central tailgate? I am ashamed of YOU.

  11. You must not know much about D1 college football. After we beat State their students were chomping at the bit to put us down in any way possible. We were called “hicks”, told we were receiving “a 2nd class education”, threatened with violence and of course had a plethora of vulgarities and slurs thrown our way. What happened at CMU on Saturday is pretty much par for the course, if not better mannered than the traditional in-state rivalry. Educate yourself before you put your classmates down on a public forum like this.

  12. This doesn’t even factor in the rumors of a destroyed Chevy Malibu in the Baseball lot, and an exhibition of public defecation by a very drunk young lady in the tailgate lot.

  13. My experience at the tailgate was fantastic. Any taunting or behavior of the sorts was done in good fun and by both sides of fans. None of my MSU friends reported any malicious treatment, and many said they thoroughly enjoyed getting to experience a college football atmosphere on another campus.

    Once again, CM Life takes the behavior of a few individuals and acts like they represent the entire student body. Yes, we have students that go to tailgate, get unreasonably drunk, and commit dumb acts, but that’s not an issue unique to Central, nor a problem that permeates throughout much of the student body. At least this column was correctly filed as an editorial.

  14. Either way.. we need to represent our-selves in a manor that is both respectful and life honoring. Who cares if they were doing it back, we need to build up our college instead of just being the same old CMU that people have learned to “not” take serious!

  15. I will never forget my experience at MSU in 2009; I don’t want to go into detail, but is was for from “classy” and “humane”. The issue isn’t just within the CMU student population, and you know it.

  16. Excellent column, Eric. Sadly, many of the comments below are along the lines of “It’s college football… it’s expected,” and that’s a shame.

  17. You’re absolutely right that NO ONE should make racial slurs or destroy
    property. Adults in college (drunk or sober) should (and do) know this.
    However, it is a big mistake to assume all CMU student have “school
    pride,” or that they care about MSU’s impression of the student body. I
    am willing to bet that many (if not the majority of) students who did
    not “keep it classy” were more concerned with partying than football.
    Just like every other CMU tailgate/football game.

    CMU students
    are in no way a unified group. Most are respectful and intelligent,
    some are ignorant and belligerent. You simply aren’t going to find the
    same school spirit that you had in high school at CMU (or any other
    university); no matter where you go or what you do there will always be
    some idiot who could potentially ruin your day or embarrass you in front
    of those you respect. Scolding thousands of people for the actions a
    handful is a waste of your time and energy. You should be more
    embarrassed by the actions of CMU’s President Ross in the past few years
    than by any group wasted morons at a football game! I don’t mean to be harsh – but get over it.

    *Humans ARE animals. Please look it up or pay attention in zoology.

  18. I blame Enos…

  19. frmatmn2ashes says:

    I’m a CMU and now current MSU student – I had an amazing time, and people were often confused as to why I wore items for both schools. I predominately represented MSU as it’s my current school and let’s face it, a much better program but I didn’t experience anything negative to write about. The baseball tailgate was pretty crazy – but in a good way. It reminded me of the tailgates from ’07 and ’08, and I loved it. If every tailgate were like that, I’d be much more willing to make the 4.5 hour round-trip drive. Get over yourself.

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