TL;DR : Institutional Justice: Make Facebook Group -> Get Fined $2000
The “organizers” of Tour de Franzia have been fined $2000 by the University.
Somehow, while providing neither a venue or a single drop of alcohol, their creation of a Facebook event is grounds for being held liable for both any damage at all that occurs on campus the evening of the event and also the reckless endangerment of the 900-odd people who ended up clicking the “Attending” button. The fact that this event happens every year regardless of who ends up picking a day for it to occur, along with the fact that this year’s group went out of their way to discourage the attendance of the underage(they even encouraged us to pick up boxes for chrissakes), seem utterly lost on the disciplinary apparatus of the University.
The notion of community responsibility embodied in this decision is beyond fucked — individuals are responsible for the actions of vast swaths of their peers? Half the student body “behaves irresponsibly” with regards to community standards and yet 5 people are held absolutely responsible? How can it be proven that any damages that may have occurred that night had any connection whatsoever with the Tour? If Michael Roth threw a party that I and 900 of my friends showed up to and proceeded to trash, could we run wild with full knowledge that in the end he would be the one on the hook for our actions? What about if he just talked about throwing a party?
What kind of judicial body, given this glaring absence of any coherent framework of responsibility, could render unequivocally under it a verdict this ridiculously disporportional against the students? Certainly not the SJB?!?!?! .. Actually, certainly not the SJB. The administration, perhaps rightly suspecting that any judicial body composed of students would have necessarily included in its ranks at least a few participants in the Tour, opted to defer prosecution of this case until the student members of the SJB were removed from power. Rather than being judged by a jury of their peers, the students responsible for the brutal and shocking crime of creating a Facebook event were tried and sentenced by a team of administrators.
Now what? Well, if the residents of 1 Pearl Place can’t scrape together $2000, they don’t get their diplomas. If you can, please give them money — they’re asking for donations of $5 per person. If you happen to be a rich alum who cares about the vitality of the undergrad experience, you might consider helping them out with considerably more. Its sad to leave Wesleyan with such a bitter taste in one’s mouth towards the administration — I know these assholes are very soon going to start asking me for money. Nostalgia for the fun, sometimes raucous memories of college are a great and oft-deployed fundraising tool… The institutional logic too often seems willing to foreground and capitalize upon the bawdy times of yore in the pursuit of money on the one hand while on the other it does its damnedest to strangle the life out of any and all of today’s campus bacchanalia.