School starts Tuesday at WMU, following wild weekend

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - School officially starts Tuesday at Western Michigan University, but it's been a wild weekend on campus, as hundreds of students took to the streets near campus for the start of welcome week.

Early Sunday morning, police turned to pepper spray to break up unruly crowds, and a handful were even arrested after things got out of hand.

Students tell Newschannel 3 that many of them were fighting, throwing bottles, and aiming for officers.

Some say the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety crossed the line, while others say it needed to be done.

"Way too excessive; I got pulled over tonight, and searched. It's too much," said WMU sophomore Andrew Osterman.

"They told them, like, 100 times, 'you have to go,' and they weren't going, they were being beligerent," said WMU student Kyle Lafferty. "They gave out a lot of fair warnings and one of the cops got hit by a bottle in the parking lot."

The university offered a statement as well in response to the weekend's events.

It said, in part: "As a university community, we understand and appreciate our students' excitement over the beginning of the semester. We expect them, however, to celebrate responsibly."

Kalamazoo Public Safety officers say it's their job to keep the students safe.

Overall, it was a relatively quiet morning for officers Monday, as classes officially start Tuesday.