History Department


History 303: Research and Writing Seminar in History


Andrew Morris


In April of 1990, Cal Poly’s President Warren J. Baker made the decision to indefinitely cancel the annual open house event, Poly Royal. The decision was made easy because of the violent and disruptive riots that broke out during the weekend of the event that year. Primarily the result of binge drinking among young students, the riots included: arson, destruction of property, and over a hundred injuries. This paper will explore all the precautionary measures taken by city officials to combat the riots and examine the measures that could have been taken to prevent the riots from happening. Using sources that study riots that occur adjacent to university campuses will help further understand the traits of these riots and how they should have been combatted. The possible enactment of the banning or limiting of sale of alcohol to remedy the uproar among riot participators is also discussed in this paper.

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