Military-style checkpoints, email campaigns, and Jezebel features, oh my.
Maybe you thought the administration would reign in its attempts to stop Tour de Franzia after being publicly skewered everywhere from MSN to Gawker-owned feminist snarkfest Jezebel to something calling itself “BroBible.” You were wrong. If anything, after begging your parents to stop the mayhem, the powers that be have only stepped up their game, going so far as to email all faculty, have RAs set up military-style checkpoints outside student dorms on the night of the Tour, and threaten to slap students with six judicial points for, uh, “wearing costumes.” Don’t be mad! They’re just trying to keep you safe! Tour de Franzia is dangerous!
Anyway, here’s your definitive guide to everything you’ve been wondering about What the Fuck is the Administration Doing About Tour de Franzia This Year.
Q: When’s Tour de Franzia? How will I find out about it? Is it even happening this year?
A: Who knows, but probably. There’s no fixed date, but in recent years it has occurred during one of the last weekends of the semester. It’s typically announced by an anonymous Facebook profile, “WesParty Guy” (which is deactivated when not in use), as well as via word of mouth and mass texts. There won’t be a Facebook event or whatever, especially after the Great Facebook Event Crackdown of 2010.
Q: Is it true that the administration asked faculty to report students they hear simply talking about Tour de Franzia?
A: It’s unclear, to be honest. According to one anonymous source, “The professors all received emails from the administration saying that if they heard any of their students talk about participating in the tour, they should report those students at once.” According to a different student, “My professor just told our class that professors have been getting emails from the administration telling them to report any information they overhear students saying, and that we should ‘watch out, especially on potentially tenure-track profs.'” However, an anonymous faculty source told Wesleying that faculty simply received a forward of the email Dean Whaley already sent to students and that most faculty members only have a vague idea of what Tour de Franzia is anyway.
Q: Is it true that RAs have been telling freshmen that they’ll get written up simply for leaving their building on the night of Tour de Franzia?
A: Yep. “My RA said it’s possible,” confirmed Lynn Ma ’16. “She told us to just stay inside the whole day if we can. My RA told me her AC was legitimately chasing people last year in running shoes. This AC really wants people to just stay in and be too scared to step outside.” According to an RA who spoke on condition of anonymity, “You can get SJBed for participating, but just leaving your building and not participating would not be grounds for being written up. What counts as participating can get kind of hazy, though. The prohibitive route they have taken, which has made people feel like they can’t leave their buildings, is not only ineffective but not the kind of university environment I want to live in.”
Q: Okay, so what constitutes “participation” in Tour de Franzia?
A: Dean Rick Culliton attempted to clarify this in an email last week. The short answer is that participation counts as “taking part in the scavenger hunt (whether or not you are drinking), wearing masks and/or costumes, as well as possessing and/or consuming alcohol.” You can read the full email here.
Q: Dude, that says ResLife will be monitoring the entrances to every dorm.
A: Yep. For further explanation of how that will go down, here’s an email that all Butts residents received from an Area Coordinator. It all sounds rather dystopian: “Anyone trying to access the building will need to present a picture ID which will be checked against the roster to verify identity and residence. No Wesleyan student will be allowed access into a building that they do not reside in. Neither will unregistered non-Wesleyan guests.”
Q: That sounds like military checkpoints. What if I want to just hang out in my friend’s room?
A: Too bad. Stay home and call your grandma.
Q: I don’t even want to participate in the Tour, and that messes up my night.
A: To quote Elijah Stevens ’15 on the self-defeating aspects of this policy, “My bigger problem is with the fact that we won’t be allowed to just go hang out with friends in dorms that we don’t live in. That seems ridiculous and detrimental to everyone, especially those who want to hang out with friends who live elsewhere and not participate in the Tour.”
Q: They’re threatening to discipline students for participating in the Tour sober, but if binge-drinking is the main problem, wouldn’t it make things safer to have some sober students around?
A: Yes. Yes, it would. (As Daniel Plafker ’15 has pointed out, “There were students last year who remained sober but still dressed up in silly costumes in order to serve waffles to the celebrants. These guys were a useful set of sober eyes and put much needed food in drunk bellies. In other words, I think they added to the safety of the Tour.”) (On Twitter, Ella Dawson ’14 opined, “I think it is ridiculous that the admin. would penalize those who ‘participate’ in the tour even if they aren’t drinking b/c they are ‘contributing to the problem.’ According to the admin. the problem is binge drinking, so participating sober seems like a solution rather than something that merits punishment. Besides, running around campus wearing a cape is something the admin would encourage as ‘so wes’ on any other day of the week.”)
Q: So how many judicial points will participants in Tour de Franzia receive again?
A: A minimum of six judicial points, according to a recent email from Dean Mike Whaley. For an idea of how that compares to other serious charges, consult this tweet by the mysterious @WesUnity:
Jdcl Pts:Reg 2 (Hrssmnt/Abuse) 4+Reg 3 (Sexual Miscondct/Asslt) 5+Reg 9e (Lthl Wpns) 4+Reg ? (TDF Paricipant) 6+bit.ly/12hbjSt
— Wesleyan Unity (@WesUnity) April 30, 2013
Q: So the minimum number of judicial points for participating in Tour de Franzia, whether or not you’re actually drinking or causing damage, is more than the minimum for committing sexual assault?
A: Uh huh.
Q: I’m a senior. Will they actually block me from walking at Commencement if I participate?
A: Probably not—but maybe! Only one way to find out.
Q: My parents would flip a shit! And they donated seven figures to the #ThisIsWhy campaign!
A: Okay, you’re in the clear.
Q: Is it true that the administration wanted to cancel Spring Fling or automatically suspend everyone who participates, whether or not they’re drinking?
A: Yes. According to WSA President-elect Nicole Updegrove ’14 at last week’s presidential debate, she and other WSA members talked the administration out of such draconian measures. (“I don’t think you should be suspended for running around campus in a cape!”) Updegrove also dropped the bombshell that “when students interrupted a Board of Trustees meeting this year, President Roth threatened to suspend them just for walking up the stairs.” In a recent all-campus email, Updegrove expressed concerns about safety and vandalism during the Tour, but stated: “We firmly believe that no student should face suspension for mere participation, and cancellation of Spring Fling would be unfair to the campus at large.”
Q: What else is the administration doing to discourage participation in Tour de Franzia?
A: They’re hiring former president Bill Clinton to give a speech on Foss imploring you not to participate in Tour de Franzia.
Q: Wait, really!?
A: No. But would that really surprise you at this point?
Q: I guess not. Why is the administration flipping out about Tour de Franzia so much anyway?
A: Cuz they are worried you might die, or sue them, or both. In fairness, it’s pretty reckless and leads to substantial campus damage and hospitalizations every year. Also, they’re probably weary of attracting more drinking-related bad press in the wake of the Senior Cocks shitstorm.
Q: If they’re so worried about our safety, why don’t they just stress safe drinking and provide food or something?
A: Because then they would be “sponsoring” or “supporting” a dangerous activity, and they’re worried about getting sued.
Q: If they sent an email to our parents about Tour de Franzia, why don’t they send an email to our parents about Public Safety spying on students?
A: Because lawyers. They emailed your parents about Tour de Franzia because they don’t want to get sued. They didn’t email your parents about P-Safe because they don’t want to get sued.
Q: According to the email from Dean Rick, “There were some students last year who dressed in costumes and ran around campus with the tour thinking that they were fine because they were not carrying a bag of wine—in fact, they still contributed to the problems we experienced which is why we have specified that any participation in the tour will be subject to judicial action.” What problems did they contribute to and how?
A: I posed this question to Dean Whaley and here is his reply. (In the words of Katherine Cohen ’14, “Failure to Comply gets slapped on gratuitously to so many charges. It seems basically to amount to ‘I don’t like your attitude.'”)
Q: That’s fucked up! It’s possible to run around campus in a costume without damaging property or recklessly endangering anyone!
A: Come on. This is no time for technicalities.
Q: How do I know what constitutes a costume as opposed to just a particularly daring evening outfit?
A: If Dean Rick has worn it to Michael Roth’s Halloween rager, it’s a costume.
Q: Seriously, though, what’s a costume?
COSTUME: A style of drss, incldng grmnts, accssrs & hrstyle, espcly as chrctrstc of a prtclr cntry, period, or ppl thefreedictionary.com/costume
— Wesleyan Unity (@WesUnity) April 30, 2013
Q: What if my costume disguises me so I don’t get documented?
A: Then you should practice sprinting, too.
Q: I got an email from my class dean/coach/boss/ResLife telling me not to participate in Tour de Franzia. WTF?
A: Yeah, you’re not alone:
Breaking: ResLife is getting DESPERATE #tourdefranzia
— Anamananucci (@whatsnuccimane) April 25, 2013
Dear Wesleyan administration,I’m getting mixed signals here. Do you want us to do Tour De Franzia or not?If… fb.me/28MPGgv82
— Johnny Lazebnik (@jlazebnik) April 25, 2013
RT @thatalleycat_: I think I have recieved enough Tour de Franzia emails.
— sober krissy (@slovakat) April 25, 2013
please send more emails about tour de franzia
— Cameron (@PrynceXVII) April 25, 2013
Wasn’t really fazed by any of the Dean’s warnings about participating in Tour de Franzia but the one from my soccer coach got through to me
— Victoria (@vixssecretis) April 24, 2013
Man I wish the administrarion would send me more tour de franzia emails!
— Rachel K (@rachelzoolander) April 25, 2013
Drink a box of franzia for every tour de franzia email we get
— Rachel K (@rachelzoolander) April 25, 2013
Q: Don’t these staff members understand reverse psychology?
Q: I got an email from the rabbi about Tour de Franzia! What’s the proper way to reply?
A: May we suggest:
When the Rabbi sends his annual TdF email I always want to respond with: LET MY PEOPLE GO.
— Max B (@emayex18) April 26, 2013
Q: Is there any way to have Tour de Franzia without the administration finding out and cracking down?
A: Yes, if you do it on a Tuesday afternoon in broad daylight.