Letter to the Editor: SLC bum wars spiral out of control

Disclaimer: The following article is published as part of our annual satirical April Fool’s Day issue. Please don’t believe any of it, and please don’t sue us. Thanks.


There was a rock thrown through my window last night in the giant campus riot. I’m a patient person, but even I’ve had enough.

The chaos all started, as you’re probably well aware, when the on-campus activist group, Bum Central, started gaining serious momentum and a dedicated following. Even I was known to chant its slogan, “Yay for homeless violence,” in passing by its booth near the Union.

Bum Central got its motivation from the much-maligned Bum Wars Web site. While the Web site might have come under legal scrutiny, the organization is alive and well in Utah.

That first homeless war in Liberty Park was something glorious. I have never before seen such a college student turnout. I gasped with the rest of the crowd when The Toothless Wonder beat The Man With One Arm and won a whopping 10 bucks and a fifth of tequila.

Every great organization sees its time in the limelight, though it will eventually have to succumb to darkness. This is my feeling about Bum Central. It was cool for a while, but it has slowly lost its luster. Even without the bomb threats from the American Civil Liberties Union, students with any sort of moral interior should see that making people fight for alcohol and petty change is just wrong.

Yesterday, I was attacked by BUC for wearing a green, striped shirt and a pair of faded jeans. I was later informed (while holding an ice pack over my eye) that this outfit is now the official ensemble of the Pioneer Park homeless supporters.

On Monday, the Liberty Park supporters put a junior English major in the hospital after she denounced the entire Bum Central group as “stupid and juvenile.”

The administration has been taking ardent measures to keep the matter quiet, though the word on the street is that the Liberty Park people threw the unsuspecting junior into a huddle of rabid and drugged bums. This particular group had been promised a new blanket and $5 a piece if they could satisfactorily “punish” the girl.

She has since decided to pursue her degree online.

Not only are these “wars” disgusting, but the violence they cause on campus is nothing short of deplorable. Something that originally promoted campus unity is quickly morphing into a sort of organized gang rivalry.

In recent weeks, stabbings in Salt Lake City have risen by 38 percent. This is astonishing. What’s more astonishing is today’s statement that The Gateway is closing and its workers going on strike until the U administration agrees to work with the SLC police to clean up Pioneer Park and cure downtown of what’s quickly becoming dubbed as the “homeless problem.”

I’m all for a bit of bum fighting, but let’s try and keep it innocent. We can’t have students being harmed physically because they won’t choose between the Pioneer Park homeless and the Liberty Park homeless. The only people who should be hurt in Bum Wars are the bums themselves, not innocent bystanders who are just there to witness the spectacle and have a bit of old-fashioned fun.

Bum-founded by violence

Junior, Women’s Studies