Leaders from Michigan State University and the City of East Lansing are urging fans to celebrate safely this coming weekend as the Spartans take on Texas Tech Saturday evening in the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four.
All fans, students and non-students alike, need to be aware of the dangers and consequences of attending unlawful and destructive gatherings.
“True Spartans celebrate with class,” said MSU Acting President Satish Udpa. “Our men’s basketball team has overcome many hurdles this year, and we as a community should celebrate them with honor and dignity.
“Destroying property and taking part in destructive gatherings are not Spartan traditions. These actions are incredibly dangerous and are an embarrassment to Spartans everywhere,” he added.
Any student found responsible for participating in an unlawful assembly is subject to university sanctions, including expulsion or suspension. Additionally, anyone within 300 feet of an open fire who is not actively leaving the area faces a possible misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
“Observing is participating,” said Steve Gonzalez, deputy chief for the East Lansing Police Department. “Just by going to an unlawful gathering, you can be arrested.”
There will be a large police presence both on and off campus this weekend. Officers also will monitor local news reports and social media feeds to identify anyone taking part in destructive behavior.
“No one is anonymous,” Gonzalez added.
Udpa urges students and visitors to passionately and safely cheer on the Spartans.
“The team needs our support and enthusiasm,” he said. “As it represents our school in the Final Four, we need to remember everyone in our community represents our great school as well. On this bright stage we find ourselves, we must remember it is an honor to be a Spartan.”
MSU will host a watch party on Saturday evening at Munn Ice Arena. Doors will open at 8 p.m.