University News

Goldfarb: Response to Wheeler Street (5/1/11)

May 1, 2011

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As has occurred at other universities that have had similar issues with unauthorized off-campus events, a small percentage of our students tarnished the reputation of our outstanding University community by their actions at the so-called "Wheeler Street Block Party."

According to the Macomb Police Department, approximately 104 citations were issued to 89 individuals as of May 1. Of those, nearly 50 percent were non-WIU students, and several more nonstudents engaged in yesterday's inappropriate and illegal behaviors. The vast majority of our nearly 11,000 Macomb campus students does not participate in such events and truly represents the high caliber of students we have at WIU.

Law enforcement personnel were present in the vicinity throughout the day. It was only after emergency medical personnel began treating dangerous levels of alcohol intoxication and when participants began engaging in dangerous activities, including vandalizing property and throwing bottles and other objects at local law enforcement officers who were not in protective gear, that the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Mobile Field Force, comprised of officers from throughout the state, was called in for crowd control to ensure the safety of all present. The University supports the law enforcement agencies in their attempt to ensure the safety of our students and our community.

Those students who were arrested will also face disciplinary action from the University. It is sad that those individuals have such little respect for themselves, their community and their university, and that they, along with visitors to this community, can tarnish Western Illinois University's reputation.

We will continue to work with our community and law enforcement to prevent events of this magnitude from happening again in the future.


Al Goldfarb
Western Illinois University

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations