PROVO, Utah (AP) _ A small army of police officers rushed to Brigham Young University early Monday when about 300 students began roaming the campus, shouting and singing Christmas carols, authorities said.
A spokesman for the school, which is operated by the Mormons, said the incident was simply a case of ″students feeling their oats.″
A Provo police car sustained minor damage and a dormitory window was broken, but there were no injuries or arrests, said BYU spokesman Paul Richards.
Richards said students from the Helaman Halls residential complex began walking the campus about midnight, and arrived at the residence of BYU President Jeffrey Holland, where they were met by campus police and asked to return to their dorms.
The crowd sang a few Christmas carols and left without incident, and after returning to the student housing area, dispersed about 2:30 a.m., said BYU Police Chief Robert Kelshaw.
About 35 law enforcement officers, including personnel from university, Provo and Orem police departments, were called to the campus. Provo officers, having erroneously been told the disturbance was serious, showed up in riot gear, Kelshaw said.
The incident became ″a media event″ when members of a Salt Lake City television crew turned cameras and lights on, Richards said.
″Everytime the TV camera turned on its lights, they started shouting and jumping,″ he said. ″You’ve got to realize that it’s final week, we won a game Saturday (23-3 over Air Force), the kids are anxious to go home for Christmas vacation, and the weather was nice. It was just letting off steam, elation, that sort of thing.″
The students responsible for damages would be required to make restitution and could be disciplined, Richards said.