MSU has many traditions that are fully embraced throughout its community, by both the students and permanent residents in the area. Unfortunately, there’s one tradition that has failed to subside over the years. Couch burnings.
In an effort to start a conversation on the impact of couch burning in the community, a liaison committee between MSU and East Lansing held a meeting last Thursday to discuss, among other things, how to plan for the beginning of Welcome Weekend, specifically the weekend of Aug. 23, where they are expecting an increase of possible couch burnings after an increase of fires in the month of July.
Burning a couch can be comparable to something on an MSU bucket list. Either by just going to one or even starting it yourself, it seems to be a rite of passage some MSU students feel they need to experience. And it’s one experience that needs to come to an end.
It looks bad, not only on East Lansing and MSU, but on the students as well. It might seem like it’s something to experience or some kind of novelty, but it’s overrated.
It’s not like burning a couch is being done in the name of MSU or showing some sort of school pride. It’s a black mark on a school that’s trying to give students an education and a sports team they supposedly root for.
It’s understandable when students first come to college, they’re trying to find some sense of identity. Everyone is, but nobody is going to find that identity in the flames of a burning couch. The only thing it’s going to give you is some warmth and the strong possibility you’ll be arrested and charged with arson.
The resources of the MSU and East Lansing Police Department also are being wasted in this case. They can spend their time trying to work on actual crimes instead of a couple of people who spent their time playing with matches.
The unfortunate part in all of this is that all MSU students are getting lumped together. A couple of people, including some that might not be MSU students, are giving everybody a bad reputation. It’s not fair for the students who want to show their school spirit but are overshadowed by the needless actions of a few.
There is no reason to jeopardize your future by acting in what some might call an “MSU tradition” and getting arrested and possibly expelled from school. There are many ways students can show off your support for MSU in which where they’re not breaking the law. Because when students do, it not only makes them look bad, but every single one of their peers on campus.
When news comes out about a couch burning, the first thing somebody thinks shouldn’t be, “Did it happen in East Lansing?” When you have that type of reputation, there’s something wrong with the attention MSU is getting. The meeting between the city and school officials is a nice proactive step to try to steer the city away from attaining the nickname as the “Couch Burning Capital of Michigan.”
If anything good is to come out of this, maybe it’s the start of a new tradition where students can show off their school spirit.