Future employers, meet Master of Ceremonies J**e W****y.
Awesomefest seems to finally have a unified purpose behind its name, and it’s not what the non-ironically-minded might expect. The event at Eclectic, the various incarnations of which I’ve attended at many junctures during my time at Wesleyan, always seemed torn between genuinely debuting new bands and the joke acts of usually talented music majors and other prominent musicians. This year, though, the jokier bands truly got my attention, and perhaps exhibited greater creativity by breaking out of the confines of good music — if it could even be called music at all.
There was Zak Malik ’14 attempting to play drums while singing “Levels” by AVICII at the same time. The vocals got the short end of the stick, coming out more like “DA-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN, DUN-DUN-DUN-DUNH-DA-DA-DUNH-DUNH” than anything tuneful. There was Malik’s Lion King song cover band with Henry Molofsky ’13 (who just did a Music thesis that I’m sure was wonderful and had a lot of serious value) that butchered the songs and couldn’t remember half of the lyrics. About halfway through “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” there appeared to be smoke streaming from Malik’s keyboard in my pictures; I showed the pictures to the kid next to me, and after a big misunderstanding he ended up asking the sound guy if there was anything wrong – but it only turned out to be the sound guy’s cigarette.
Stephan Stansfield ’13and Rachel Connor ’13 (now ’14) — returning, happily, to the Wesleyan music scene after a long absence — played a surf rock song about being “back in the UAE” that devolved into a paean to the pleasures of boofing. A band called “Bryan J. ft. Travis Porter,” which included Molofsky, Aaron Khandros ’13,Bennett Kirschner ’13, and Connor, delivered what one fellow audience member opined was “the worst music [he] had ever heard,” with Kirschner screaming at the top of his lungs. There was a strip show that ended with mashed bananas all over the floor and A-Batte somewhere under the stage, along with the microphone.
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.
Thought you’d get through April without an ominous email from the administration about Tour de Franzia? Think again. By this point last year Dean Mike Whaley had already emailed your parents about the annual wine-fueled shit-show of a scavenger hunt, and the rest of the administration had quietly set in motion a personalized listserv-by-listserv email campaign imploring you not to participate. It didn’t really work, since Tour de Franzia popped off right on schedule, but on the other hand it sort of did, because participation and hospitalizations were each down by about 50%.
This year’s strategy seems to fall in line with the recent trend: having realized they can’t stop Tour de Franzia altogether (barring use of unreasonably draconian measures), administrators are leveling threats and ramping up judicial consequences in the hopes that participation continues to drop and eventually falls off altogether. The latest “D.A.R.E to Resist Franzia and Dinosaur Costumes” public service announcement comes from Dean Mike Whaley, who knocked off the traditional all-campus Tour de Franzia email on April 11. The gist of Whaley’s note is that judicial charges will be stricter than usual this year, whether or not you’re actually drinking or causing damage or doing anything particularly reckless:
Continued from yesterday, here is the second administration-centered interview on Tourde 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 SpringFling, 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.
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.