After thorough efforts by both universities, CU and Colorado State student rivals paid more respect to each other than usual at Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown at Invesco Field.
Since August, CU President Hank Brown and CSU President Larry Penley have been working on an informational campaign with the slogan “we compete, you win.” According to a Sept. 5 news release, this campaign “emphasizes the positive educational, workforce and economic development effects provided by the state’s two leading research universities.”
The goal aimed at uniting the universities was especially stressed at the CU vs. CSU football game last Saturday.
“The underlying message here is that competing is a positive thing, and it really hurts the state when we act as rivals,” said Michele McKinney, director of communications at CU.
According to the Denver Police Department, the campaign must have had a positive affect on students because the crowd was well-behaved at the game.
“With the amount of people that were there and the amount of alcohol consumption before the game, I would say it went very well. Definitely nothing like we’ve had before,” Denver police spokeswoman Virginia Quinones said.
In total, the department said there were 52 ejections, 38 people sent to detox, five citations and 26 arrests.
Despite the optimism that came from the police, students felt that the program hadn’t really made a difference.
“I saw a girl from our side getting dragged out by the cops. I don’t know what she did, but she was drunk and put up a fight,” said sophomore Jessica Metzler, a political science major.
Some thought students were being just as rowdy as usual.
“It was just the usual – just a lot of trash talking. Being rivals is fun. It gives us something to do. All of CU and CSU are never going to be friends,” said sophomore Gigi Podolak, an architecture and interior design major.
Most students said they had never heard of the educational program the two presidents had put together.
“They should post flyers or something. It’s a good idea, but it’s going to take a long time to catch on,” said sophomore Lorilee Linfield, an economics major.
Despite what students witnessed in the stadium, Brown and Penely are sticking to their campaign of trying to get students involved in resolving rivalry, and they are optimistic about its outcome.