It’s time for everyone to start asking tough questions

Many participants at the World’s Largest Water Balloon Fight probably didn’t think much about the several people who ran for the balloons early and were tackled and escorted off the premises by security officials.

To many, it is just something that happened right before the event began.

But it raised red flags about the security of the event.

On Monday, the Kernel chose to run a large photograph on the front page of a man being restrained by security officials, one of which had him in a headlock. His face was pink.

Another photo was published depicted a man whose face was being forced into the ground and whose arms were being gripped behind his back.

These photos were not chosen to sensationalize a small part of the event; they were chosen to show the dangers of an event this size with minimal security.

Just think — a group of our peers were in charge of controlling a crowd of nearly 11,000 people, and that is what happened.

These photos were not only shocking, they were also frightening.

But worse, they were real, and they were candid.

They were not run to attack CSF nor the volunteer security guards, who were only acting as their conscious and instruction dictated in those controversial moments.

That was never our intent.

As journalists, it was necessary to run them to accurately depict what did happen and to show the dangers of what could happen at a large scale event without the proper security or planning.

Part of a newspaper’s job is to highlight the important issues no matter how small they may seem.

Journalists should not wait until something awful happens to report on issues that could lead to something worse happening, like a lack of security might.

The mentioned photos were published to pose questions to the university, to the organization and to every other group that students are involved in.

Students should have the right to know that if they attend an event on campus they are safe, not just from “wrong doers” but from the “enforcers of justice” as well.

What if Friday night was worse?

What if the man in the first photo was choked too long, or the second man’s arm pulled too far or too much pressure applied to his skull?

What if they were injured permanently?

The Kernel has the responsibility of asking these questions, and that was done.

It’s about protecting UK students and holding the university and organizations responsible.

While it is acknowledged that this was just a small part of the annual water balloon fight for most, it was a very large part for others, and one that needs to be addressed for everyone.

It happens every year at the Water Balloon Fight — stories of students suffering small injuries are all too common, yet have never been addressed.

If we don’t ask the tough questions, then who will? It is time for everyone to start asking tough questions.

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