Continued from yesterday, here is the second administration-centered interview on Tour de Franzia (henceforth marked as TDF), this time with Dean Mike Whaley, Vice President of Student Affairs. It’s pretty damn long, and so I’m just going to jump into it, but before that I want to note two things:
(1) Zach and I conducted this interview on the morning of Spring Fling, so when we tell this story we like saying “We pregamed Spring Fling with Mike Whaley.” Technically, that’s not an inaccurate statement, but there were no drinkies, so maybe it is. But that’s only if you’re being particular about the definition of pregaming.
(2) When we were conducting the interview, the dean had ambient, meditative/trance music going on in the background. This compelled, at least for me, a sleep-inducing lull that resulted in a lack of coherence, and so the conversation went in a mostly roundabout fashion. What follows is not the natural conversation as it happened, but a selective reorganization of the transcript. We assure you, however, that nothing whatsoever is misrepresented.
Read on for Dean Mike Whaley’s thoughts on administrative tactics to stop Tour de Franzia, possible wrongful SJB charges filed against students, and whether or not Public Safety is planning to use video footage to identify students on 4/20. For previous Franzia coverage, see emails from various administrators, Public Safety’s “Awareness Report,” and video footage by Wespook.
“PSafe post-modern liveblogging ftw”
You post incriminating Facebook photos, P-Safe posts an “Awareness Log.” So it goes. As usual, if you’re wondering what Wesleyan’s Public Safety staff was up to while you were belligerently chugging boxed wine up and down College Row in a homespun Kraftwerk costume, check out the Awareness Log on P-Safe’s website. From a cursory glance, it looks like the previous record of nine hospitalizations has been reduced down to four (or five if you count one “intoxicated non-student who was transported to the ER”). On the other hand, the number of documented students is almost certainly way up, given the increased administrative presence (sup, ResLife?) during the Tour.
Other surprising highlights from the awareness log include (a) “individuals in a vehicle yelling racial slurs” (not students, I hope), (b) “Fire Alarm-Foss Hill-Malicious activation of pull station” (is that what all the firetrucks by Weshop were responding to?), and (c) damaged doors and windows.
Scroll on for the full log. The report more or less pauses with one last hospitalization at 2:58, picking up with one mention of “unidentified suspicious people” at 5 a.m. Click here for last year’s P-Safe Report and here for a collection of administrative emails urging students not to participate. Check back here tomorrow for more administrative perspectives on Tour de Franzia.
The university tried this year, harder than ever, to prevent Tour de Franzia before it began. It failed. Franzia popped off last night—with a few more class deans and ResLife staff than usual, and probably a few more SJB summons as well.
Here’s a glimpse back at the university’s widespread email campaign imploring you not to tour. In other news, clean up your mess.
From Dean Brown to 2013:
I wanted to encourage you to not participate in the Tour de Franzia. I am really concerned about this event and ask that you consider the consequences for yourself and others. There will be a strong administrative presence due to our concern for health and safety issues. An SJB record stays on your record for six years from its occurrence, so think how one night could make a difference not only in this respect, but even longer in terms of your health and safety.
Best, Dean Brown
And with that—a boisterous rendition of the “Wesleyan Fight Song,” a few loud champagne corks, a flurry of hugs, and a palpable sense of relief—it’s all over. Nine months of work, dispatched in one drunken hour on the Olin steps. (Special thanks to Charlotte, guys.) Not even the Open Container Policy can squash this storied tradition. It’s a good time to be a senior, eh? (You know. Except the whole “graduating in a month” thing.)
After spending two weeks interviewing writers and documenting Thesis-Land despair, it’s hard not to feel some vicarious sense of relief. I know where you worked. I know what caffeinated beverages you downed in your carrel. I know how many nights you slept in ST Lab. I know how many times you re-wore the same pants. (Well, no. I don’t.) And I am terrified for next year.
Consider this a hearty ‘grats to all thesis-writers, whether you were profiled on this blog or not. Scroll on for a full gallery, and click past the jump for a brief, shaky video clip of the “Wesleyan Fight Song.”
Police chief: “In one room they found about 18 kids and in that room was a wastebasket that they said had about a foot of vomit in it.”
Wesleying is sending its NESCAC solidarity up to postcard-perfect Waterville, ME. More than four dozen Colby students will be needing it after this bust.
In what seems like a nightmarish record in recent college history, 56 Colby students (that’s over 3% of the student body) are facing alcohol charges and on-campus discipline action after on off-campus party Saturday night. The three students living in the party venue, meanwhile—residents of an apartment at 116 Winter St, whose names I’m not including in this post—were arrested and “charged with providing a place for minors to consume.” All 56 are expected to appear Waterville District Court on December 6. As for the leak, these details from the Kennebec Journal:
The summonses were issued after an officer stopped a car on Gilman Street around 8 p.m. Saturday and the driver identified herself as a Colby student, according to [police Chief Joseph] Massey. The officer smelled alcohol on her and asked where she got it; she said she had been at the Winter Street party, Massey said. She was summoned for illegal possession of alcohol by a minor, he said.
Remember the administrative aftermath of last year’s Tour de Franzia? Here’s the short version: the University fined the residents of 1 Pearl Place $2,000 in campus damage for having “organized” the event–and threatened to withhold diplomas if they didn’t pay up. Their charge: creating the Tour de Franzia Facebook event. Here’s the Wesleying post extolling students (particularly Franz-participants) to “Help Out the Innocents of 1 Pearl Place” and throw some dough in their online donation page. (Oh, and a 62-response comment thread. Happy studying.)
This year, P-Safe director Dave Meyer announced plans to “take some precautionary measures and deal with any organizers ahead of time.” But there was no such action: Tour de Franzia was “organized” (read: a date was declared) from an anonymous Facebook profile, which was deactivated immediately post-Franz. Good thinking.
But the administration knows what’s up, and there apparently will be “judicial charges against those students who may have violated Wesleyan’s Code of Conduct.” No word on how those individuals will be identified–or what the charges will entail. (Does “all available documentation of the event” refer to P-Safe’s apparent video footage of streakers and partiers on Fountain?)
Here’s Dean Mike Whaley‘s thrillingly ambiguous all-campus announcement in full. Offer up your interpretations in the comments.
I hope that your final projects and papers are going well. In addition to my good wishes for a successful conclusion to your academic work, I also wanted to send a note to register my concern about the “Tour de Franzia” event this past weekend.
Wondering what P-Safe was up to while you were _________ [choose one: chugging boxed wine up and down College Row/innocently watching your friends chug boxed wine up and down College Row/in Olin, futilely attempting to write a paper on the “Marxist Roots of Postmodern Homoerotic Mysticism and the Feminine Form in St. Augustine’s Confessions” while hearing loud freshman chug boxed wine up and down college row]?
Now it’s public: P-Safe has just published last Saturday’s “Public Safety Awareness Report” on its online bulletin board, which is basically what you’d expect it to look like. (Tricky: look under “SUNDAY 5/8/11”; most of the action happened past midnight—for you, and for P-Safe.) No word on whether or not we actually surpassed last year’s record nine hospital visits (anonymous claims 11, but provides no source)—this log mentions five, but only takes us up to 2:27 a.m. (Also no mention of videotaping streakers or final Fountain Ave. blowout.)
PUBLIC SAFETY AWARENESS REPORT
12:18am Loud Noise-Butterfield
12:20am Disorderly Conduct- High St
PS responded to a report of bottles being thrown into the street
1:00am Medical- Cross St
PS responded to a report of an injured student who was transported to the ER
Overheard on steps: “I’m leading a TA session tonight! I’m getting shitfaced! Whooo!”
Chronic sleep deprivation. Unremitting caffeine dependency. Ceaseless sunshine withdrawal. Horribly masochistic work habits. It’s been a tough few weeks, but we’ve finally made it through alive: our exhausting coverage of you insane thesis-writing seniors is complete, and we Wesleying staffers can finally get some sleep.
Seriously, though—senior honors theses were due at 4 pm this afternoon, and the celebration that spilled onto the Olin steps was a sight to see: a euphoric herd of liberated seniors (and intrigued spectators) shouting out their visceral relief to the tune of popping champagne corks and the Wesleyan Fight Song. Congrats, guys! We’re chugging those 40s with you in spirit. Maybe.
For more on Wesleying’s THESISCRAZY COVERAGE 2011, click here and here and here. For more images from today’s celebration, scroll down. For scenes from past years’ thesis deadline celebrations, click here and here. For information on what it’s like to write a thesis, wait a few
hours days—these seniors look busy.
Speaking of administration/greek life tensions coming to an ugly head, this week’s developments at Cornell are enough to make our recent Beta shitstorm seem positively minor. The school’s administration has fully withdrawn recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon—effective for at least five years—following the tragic death last month of a brother, George Desdunes ’13. Circumstances surrounding Desdunes’ death remain vague (IvyGate has been attempting to compile what details have surfaced), but the basic premise is both terribly tragic and all too typical: Desdunes was reportedly provided alcohol, and became unresponsive, “while in the care of certain members and associate members” who failed to seek medical attention.
The University announced a “temporary suspension” of SAE earlier this month. This week’s announcement arrives—conveniently enough—right at the start of the school’s spring break. All SAE brothers are required to vacate the frat house by March 31.
More from the Cornell Daily Sun:
“The loss of University recognition is the loss of any and all privileges and benefits bestowed upon a recognized fraternity or sorority,” Murphy said.
Such privileges include the ability to “use the University’s name in any fashion,” participate in “educational, social, philanthropic/service and athletic programs,” or use any University facilities for fraternity functions, she said.
The Four Loko craze has captured federal attention, according to a recent New York Times article. The malt beverage, which boasts a robust alcohol content of 12% by volume and as much caffeine as a strong cup of coffee, has come under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of 18 attorneys general, including Connecticut’s own Dick Blumenthal.
Four Loko has become the subject of polarizing debate; legislators have accused its creators of dubiously capitalizing on the vulnerability of underage drinkers, whose preference for cheap, sweet, and highly intoxicating beverages is easily satisfied by a can of the souped up malt liquor. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Four Loko isn’t clearly marketed as an inebriant. Others contend that the dangers associated with the consumption of Four Loko are not clearly articulated by the companies or understood by consumers. Said Washington attorney general Rob McKenna, “You have a product where people don’t appreciate how much alcohol they’re consuming.”
And yet, that seems to be a huge part of the beverage’s appeal. Naive and victimized as they may seem, Four Loko consumers often acknowledge and embrace the risk of suffering from blackout episodes. There is a dangerous appeal, it seems, to getting your drank on for such little money.
Still others have forsworn the Four Loko entirely, repulsed by its fad appeal. The gastronomic criticism, “This tastes like death,” has also been leveled against the drink.
Four Loko has all the hallmarks of a love-or-hate phenomenon, and will probably continue to spur contentious debate even after the FDA has concluded its investigation. Until then, however, its judgment remains in the court of public opinion. Believe the hype, or don’t. Whatever you choose, abide by a precept that even the most unscrupulous of marketing companies strongly suggest: drink responsibly.
Unable to tolerate the dynamic synergy of caffeine and alcohol, this Four Loko consumer enters a vegetative state.