The real Mardi Gras party is this weekend and itâ€™s called Poly Gras, or at least thatâ€™s what some students at Cal Poly are pushing for. A week after 400 police officers prevented any major violence from erupting, students are saying theyâ€™re ready to party â€” without the cops, and without triple fines for nudity and intoxication.
The Poly Gras idea began to pick up with a letter to the editor published in the Mustang Daily and with the creation of the web site www.polygras.com, which states, â€œBring your beads, leave your alcohol at home (but of course drink plenty of it first), and maybe even come in costume! And above all, bring your video cameras! Enjoy your Poly Gras, be safe, and donâ€™t get arrested.â€?
The buzz over Poly Gras has also been circulating through www.thefacebook.com, a student web site designed to link up clubs, social groups, and students. As of print time the Poly Gras club had 195 members.
The groupâ€™s description is as follows: â€œThis year, SLO is working to crush any Mardi Gras festivities. This will most likely result in a massive police force overstepping their authority to fine or arrest any CP students they see outside at night, and a general bad time for everybody. The solution: celebrate the first annual Poly Gras! One week later, 1/3 the fines, 400 fewer police officers, $600,000 less in fascist riot control gear. No rubber bullets, tear gas, or pepper foam. Just one kickass party and lots of boobs!â€?
SLOPD said it will be prepared. Not with 400 cops, but theyâ€™ll be ready.
â€œWeâ€™ll be prepared to react if something happens, but we hope it doesnâ€™t,â€? said Mayor Dave Romero. â€œThere is potential for disruption.â€?
The hosts of the Polygras.com web site, who declined to give their names, said that they â€œforesee a gathering a much like the ones of the past years: beads, boobs, and hopefully even some costumes this time.â€? The hosts maintain they are promoting a safe and fun alternative to Mardi Gras.
Thereâ€™s even one student selling hats, shirts, and buttons to publicize the event.
â€œWe donâ€™t so much view the cityâ€™s response [to Mardi Gras] as a dare as we do a direct slap in the face, confirming the cityâ€™s inability to work with the students,â€? said the Polygras.com hosts. â€œThe students are just out looking for a good time. They are not out to rebel against the city. Those that choose to be violent deserve to be arrested, no question. But the entire community shouldnâ€™t be punished for the ignorant acts of a few immature students.â€?