Tour de Franzia’s Disciplinary Aftermath: The Unfairest Thing Ever

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.

PleasePLEASEpleasePLEASE, especially if you attended Tour de Franzia and (think you may have) had a good time, spare a few bucks for our brave scapegoats. (email sbernard@wes for dollaz-takins)
verdict

129 thoughts on “Tour de Franzia’s Disciplinary Aftermath: The Unfairest Thing Ever

  1. anon

    #48 – I’m willing to bet $100 that you’re not ’12, but you’re an admin. no student thinks like that, even the ones who choose not to participate in things like TDF. my guess is you’re rick culliton or scott backer. all you assholes read wesleying religiously.

  2. anon

    #48 – I’m willing to bet $100 that you’re not ’12, but you’re an admin. no student thinks like that, even the ones who choose not to participate in things like TDF. my guess is you’re rick culliton or scott backer. all you assholes read wesleying religiously.

  3. Sam

    I think a lot of people here are missing one of the biggest points, which is this: university officials decided to do this only *after* the majority of the student body had gone home. It’s not like Tour de Franzia happened this weekend. It happened weeks ago. They’re actively seeking to reduce student knowledge of, involvement in, and reaction to this decision. The issue here isn’t whether or not this punishment is just. The issue is that the university is skirting the bounds of its own policies in a pathetic and cowardly attempt to make money.

  4. Sam

    48: Since when is it ok to make five people responsible for the actions of nine hundred others? It’s not like the Tour hasn’t happened before, and it’s not like it wouldn’t have happened if the residents of 1 Pearl hadn’t made the Facebook event.

    Oh, and I should add that I’m saying this as someone who also didn’t participate in the Tour, so you can drop the moral high ground bullshit.

  5. Sam

    I think a lot of people here are missing one of the biggest points, which is this: university officials decided to do this only *after* the majority of the student body had gone home. It’s not like Tour de Franzia happened this weekend. It happened weeks ago. They’re actively seeking to reduce student knowledge of, involvement in, and reaction to this decision. The issue here isn’t whether or not this punishment is just. The issue is that the university is skirting the bounds of its own policies in a pathetic and cowardly attempt to make money.

  6. Sam

    48: Since when is it ok to make five people responsible for the actions of nine hundred others? It’s not like the Tour hasn’t happened before, and it’s not like it wouldn’t have happened if the residents of 1 Pearl hadn’t made the Facebook event.

    Oh, and I should add that I’m saying this as someone who also didn’t participate in the Tour, so you can drop the moral high ground bullshit.

  7. anon

    “Now Wesleyan could have issued punishment to all 900 students involved”

    no, not really.

  8. anon

    “Now Wesleyan could have issued punishment to all 900 students involved”

    no, not really.

  9. student '12

    I think the actions taken by the University are very fair. If you were not part of the students who did not participate in the tour, it looked like just massive chaos description. I saw seven different emergency vehicles taking people to the hospital. It drove the university nuts. It created a complete chaos where University officials could not respond properly and represented what seemed like a failure on their part.
    In Wesleyan, we take out freedoms for granted and by this year’s tour de francia, the students went too far for the expense of fun.
    And some might say Wesleyan should have a better system in place for dealing with such events and they do: to call Middletown Police and cause a whole interaction between Police and students, they did not do that and we are lucky we did not go through a similar fountain situation again.
    Now Wesleyan could have issued punishment to all 900 students involved but I think they did a good job by limiting it to the people responsible for the facebook group. They sought to make an example of some people in order to prevent such actions.
    They could have easily expelled them but they did not and I think they should count their blessings for it.
    You will probably disagree with me but someone had to speak up for people for the school that we love to hate and for the people who found the whole Tour repulsive.

  10. student '12

    I think the actions taken by the University are very fair. If you were not part of the students who did not participate in the tour, it looked like just massive chaos description. I saw seven different emergency vehicles taking people to the hospital. It drove the university nuts. It created a complete chaos where University officials could not respond properly and represented what seemed like a failure on their part.
    In Wesleyan, we take out freedoms for granted and by this year’s tour de francia, the students went too far for the expense of fun.
    And some might say Wesleyan should have a better system in place for dealing with such events and they do: to call Middletown Police and cause a whole interaction between Police and students, they did not do that and we are lucky we did not go through a similar fountain situation again.
    Now Wesleyan could have issued punishment to all 900 students involved but I think they did a good job by limiting it to the people responsible for the facebook group. They sought to make an example of some people in order to prevent such actions.
    They could have easily expelled them but they did not and I think they should count their blessings for it.
    You will probably disagree with me but someone had to speak up for people for the school that we love to hate and for the people who found the whole Tour repulsive.

  11. Anon

    @45. You’re right. The university is a private institution, no number of attempts to sue will do anything. You can try though…but it will probably be a waste of money.

    @34, The admins said to conceal their franzia. There is no open container rule for of-age students on this campus as of yet, so if they were meaning for only 21 year olds to participate, that message makes no sense.

    The change of the event page on Facebook to disallow under-21-year olds was done after they got a call from the administration. Shouldn’t they have had that in the first place?

    If a peaceful agreement cannot be made between the students/alumni and the administration, then I would say the most effect route would be to threaten withholding donations from rich alumni, though I don’t know how much they would agree with us. Good luck.

  12. Anon

    @45. You’re right. The university is a private institution, no number of attempts to sue will do anything. You can try though…but it will probably be a waste of money.

    @34, The admins said to conceal their franzia. There is no open container rule for of-age students on this campus as of yet, so if they were meaning for only 21 year olds to participate, that message makes no sense.

    The change of the event page on Facebook to disallow under-21-year olds was done after they got a call from the administration. Shouldn’t they have had that in the first place?

    If a peaceful agreement cannot be made between the students/alumni and the administration, then I would say the most effect route would be to threaten withholding donations from rich alumni, though I don’t know how much they would agree with us. Good luck.

  13. alum '09

    Sue – but we aren’t working within the public legal system. This is a private institution and the administration can basically do whatever it wants.

  14. alum '09

    Sue – but we aren’t working within the public legal system. This is a private institution and the administration can basically do whatever it wants.

  15. anon

    @43

    The school should obviously just eat the cost. Tour De Franzia is fun so they can’t fine anyone for something that’s fun! But I guess, now that they have already fined the organizers the school should five us the signs and markers for picket protest. They should give us the chalk for chalking! They could even get psafe to help us chalk! They could take pictures of the protest and put it on the admissions site and ask “Are you Old-Wesleyan?”

  16. anon

    @43

    The school should obviously just eat the cost. Tour De Franzia is fun so they can’t fine anyone for something that’s fun! But I guess, now that they have already fined the organizers the school should five us the signs and markers for picket protest. They should give us the chalk for chalking! They could even get psafe to help us chalk! They could take pictures of the protest and put it on the admissions site and ask “Are you Old-Wesleyan?”

  17. student 2010

    at #35/anon–they are changing cocktails which they have been planning to do for the past three years, when 3 years ago several bus drivers were attacked by drunk seniors. though some of the events in this years cocktails have been gross, this years class had by FAR fewer fines and complaints. the plans have been in the works for a long time. don’t talk out of your ass.

  18. student 2010

    at #35/anon–they are changing cocktails which they have been planning to do for the past three years, when 3 years ago several bus drivers were attacked by drunk seniors. though some of the events in this years cocktails have been gross, this years class had by FAR fewer fines and complaints. the plans have been in the works for a long time. don’t talk out of your ass.

  19. student

    please, please write to the deans about this. this is so blatantly wrong. just getting mad about it isn’t going to do anything. this should be a staggering embarrassment for the university, because it is. DO SOMETHING.

  20. student

    please, please write to the deans about this. this is so blatantly wrong. just getting mad about it isn’t going to do anything. this should be a staggering embarrassment for the university, because it is. DO SOMETHING.

  21. anon

    I vote we hold another TDF this week in protest. Wear Wesleyan colors and gear and MRoth and Scott Backer masks!

  22. anon

    I vote we hold another TDF this week in protest. Wear Wesleyan colors and gear and MRoth and Scott Backer masks!

  23. Xue

    @35/37:
    My point wasn’t “one kind of university-sponsored drinking is okay, so why isn’t this other expression of shitfacedness”, it was that the residents of one house shouldn’t have to face not graduating from college because of the irresponsible decisions of hundreds of others. Especially since under the same rhetoric, the senior class officers who planned cocks should also be fined. Though my paraphrasing didn’t express it well.
    Personally, I think Tour de Franzia is stupid and senior cocktails even more so, but whatever.

  24. Xue

    @35/37:
    My point wasn’t “one kind of university-sponsored drinking is okay, so why isn’t this other expression of shitfacedness”, it was that the residents of one house shouldn’t have to face not graduating from college because of the irresponsible decisions of hundreds of others. Especially since under the same rhetoric, the senior class officers who planned cocks should also be fined. Though my paraphrasing didn’t express it well.
    Personally, I think Tour de Franzia is stupid and senior cocktails even more so, but whatever.

  25. anon

    How exactly are they being fined? Like, what right does Wesleyan have to levy arbitrary fines that you can’t appeal? obviously SJB is not in session; I can’t believe they could be able to fine them with absolutely no avenues to have their case be heard.

  26. anon

    How exactly are they being fined? Like, what right does Wesleyan have to levy arbitrary fines that you can’t appeal? obviously SJB is not in session; I can’t believe they could be able to fine them with absolutely no avenues to have their case be heard.

  27. Anon

    @25 / Xue

    Yes well, next year there won’t be senior cocktails since 2010 went totally out of control this year, including someone shitting on one of the bus (yes, really).

    There will still be events but they will not be alcohol focused and may be during the day.

    So, a. fucking thanks alot 2010 fucks. b. this is part of a general administration crack down

  28. Anon

    @25 / Xue

    Yes well, next year there won’t be senior cocktails since 2010 went totally out of control this year, including someone shitting on one of the bus (yes, really).

    There will still be events but they will not be alcohol focused and may be during the day.

    So, a. fucking thanks alot 2010 fucks. b. this is part of a general administration crack down

  29. SUE

    Because the organizers of the event sent out the message to the participants (as outlined in the Argus article, and in my inbox) that no people under 21 were allowed to drink, they have not violated any code of conduct. This is in no way illegal, nor is it against university policy; they have plausible deniability–both the school and the organizers. It makes no sense to attack the organizers–this will not hold up in court. Sue the school for emotional harassment, for the emotional stress they put you under by threatening to not let you graduate. This is illegal: do something about it.
    Oh, and many lawyers won’t collect until YOU’VE been paid. Just sayin’

  30. SUE

    Because the organizers of the event sent out the message to the participants (as outlined in the Argus article, and in my inbox) that no people under 21 were allowed to drink, they have not violated any code of conduct. This is in no way illegal, nor is it against university policy; they have plausible deniability–both the school and the organizers. It makes no sense to attack the organizers–this will not hold up in court. Sue the school for emotional harassment, for the emotional stress they put you under by threatening to not let you graduate. This is illegal: do something about it.
    Oh, and many lawyers won’t collect until YOU’VE been paid. Just sayin’

  31. anon

    tour de franzia is by no means a communal embarrassment. if anything, it shows that nerds still know how to party

  32. anon

    tour de franzia is by no means a communal embarrassment. if anything, it shows that nerds still know how to party

  33. concerned citizen

    the only thing wrong here is that more people aren’t being punished.

    shit like the tour de franzia is a communal embarrassment and harsh penalties are worth it if they intimidate people enough not to get involved.

  34. concerned citizen

    the only thing wrong here is that more people aren’t being punished.

    shit like the tour de franzia is a communal embarrassment and harsh penalties are worth it if they intimidate people enough not to get involved.

  35. anon

    I think the fine is totally justified. Maybe it is a bit steep. I hope the people who acted like jerks that night step forwards and help pay for the damages they caused.

  36. anon

    I think the fine is totally justified. Maybe it is a bit steep. I hope the people who acted like jerks that night step forwards and help pay for the damages they caused.

  37. anon

    This seems like one of those times where the student body has to look inward at ourselves and decide what we will put up with. We have to decide if we are to bring back the powerful collective actions and protests that we all are proud of as Wesleyan lore, that is conspicuously absent.

  38. anon

    This seems like one of those times where the student body has to look inward at ourselves and decide what we will put up with. We have to decide if we are to bring back the powerful collective actions and protests that we all are proud of as Wesleyan lore, that is conspicuously absent.

  39. Aaron

    My house (34 Fountain) is co-hosting with 58 Fountain a darty on Tuesday at noon. There will be bands and kegs and great times and everyone is invited.

    In light of these events, there will also now be a collection jar for the residents of 1 Pearl Place. If you find yourselves in the senior backyard tomorrow with a couple dollars on you, we implore you to donate as much as you feel is appropriate.

    While protesting/legal action may be justified in this case, we have to consider the possibility that the administration can and will get away with this, and if that is the case, we can all do our part to alleviate the burden placed on 1 Pearl.

  40. Aaron

    My house (34 Fountain) is co-hosting with 58 Fountain a darty on Tuesday at noon. There will be bands and kegs and great times and everyone is invited.

    In light of these events, there will also now be a collection jar for the residents of 1 Pearl Place. If you find yourselves in the senior backyard tomorrow with a couple dollars on you, we implore you to donate as much as you feel is appropriate.

    While protesting/legal action may be justified in this case, we have to consider the possibility that the administration can and will get away with this, and if that is the case, we can all do our part to alleviate the burden placed on 1 Pearl.

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