UAlbany Students Earn Their Bad Reputation (March 2011)

28 11 2011

Laura Marshall
March 21, 2011
Barnes, AJRL 475
Assignment: Fresh Angle on Kegs & Eggs
__________________________, popular online dictionary for contemporary slang, lists the definition of “Kegs and Eggs” as a holiday unique to Albany, that may be celebrated one of two ways. The first is to drink all night at various parties until sunrise, at which time you move to a bar and “continue partying, drinking and bathing in beer until around noon.” The alternative would be to set your alarm clock for 6am, rush downtown, stand in a line outside Chubby’s, Michael’s, or Bogey’s that is 100 people long, pay a $15 cover and fight over some 80 pitchers of draft.

Well this year the fine scholars of UAlbany hashed out a third way to celebrate this inane tradition: Getting so drunk in your frat’s backyard that you and your 200 new friends throw major appliances out of houses, tip over vehicles, and generally maim a once quiet, residential neighborhood.

Videos shot by the revelers themselves have attracted thousands of views on Youtube, thanks in part to their presence on local and national news outlets.

Clearly visible on several online clips are strapping young men in bold t-shirts proclaiming their Greek affiliations. “Wearing their letters” may very well land them amongst the 40-some-odd students who have been arrested in relation to the destruction.

Several rumors have inevitably sprung up, many of which center on the campus Greeks.

“Yeah, no one’s gonna talk to you, especially if they’re in the frat,” says Meaghan Mulligan, 21, a ResLife staffer on State Quad.

Things are alleged to have been tense for members of UAlbany’s Greek life prior to the Kegs and Eggs melee, as one of the more vicious rumors circulating claims that this season’s rush cost one hopeful pledge his life.

Mulligan confirms that the ResLife staff were informed of a student death about two weeks ago, a student that was pledging, what Mulligan referred to as “the big business fraternity.”

She did not indicate that any name or class standing was given about the deceased, but implied that it was a result of a hazing ritual gone wrong “and probably alcohol poisoning.”

University spokesman Karl Luntta did not return requests for comment on this situation and others that stemmed from the Kegs and Eggs mayhem.

If this rumor is true, it would be particularly audacious for any student group to have held a wild party and acted out so defiantly in the face of such a tragic incident.

This scenario, coupled with the group destruction of Pine Hills ten days ago, begs the question; Does UAlbany have any control over it’s students?

The administration would like to think so, as they recently flexed their muscles over the Kegs and Eggs humiliation by cancelling the beloved, 30 year old spring celebration “Fountain Day.”

Punishing thousands for the misbehavior of dozens ¾ what a way to win the compliance of your student body.

The Greek community at UAlbany is substantial, there are 26 authorized fraternities and sororities on campus. But contrary to the image of an all-powerful body displayed by films like Animal House (1978), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), and Old School (2003); the SUNY Albany Greeks are in no way a definitive presence in the social scene. They are, however, at the center of this chaotic ‘who done it.’

“No recognized organization participated in negative activities on Kegs and Eggs,” claims Christina Crosley, the Interim Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Coordinator at UAlbany.

A finely worded response, given that there are “S C E ,” “T K F ”and “T K E ” emblazoned on the chests of many roisterers. Crosley absolved her office, and the University by extension, of any necessary action against the Greeks because whoever was there frolicking amongst the annihilation must have been from one of the derecognized branches.

She voiced with particular pride that the Tau Kappa Epsilon’s and Alpha Chi Rho’s came out for the community cleanup on Friday.

The Albany Student Press has covered the issue of “illegal fraternities” at the school on three occasions in the last four years.

If the operation of “underground” groups is a big problem, why has more not been done about their activity?

One Youtube video in particular, titled “UAlbany kegs and eggs 2011 madness,” is described as “frat fighting and TV smashing.” It currently has over 1, 200 views. (Update: As of November 2011 the video has more than 4,200 hits)

It is discernable that one of the organizations involved in the fight are S C E , Sigma Chi Epsilon ¾ one of almost a dozen fraternities and sororities that have been stripped of their privileges at the University in the last five years.

The other half of the scuffle are recognizable by the clip-art-like graphic of someone vomiting into a toilet. Consultation of other videos reveals these lads to be with Tau Kappa Phi, T K F ¾ another group not recognized by the administration.

Crosley stated that once an organization fails to meet University criteria for operation, “it means they’re shut down.”

The university reports the chapter to their national offices, who can potentially rescind their charter.

Beyond that, little is done to ensure that the group has in fact disbanded ¾ the renegade-ness of it all makes these groups all the more appealing, hence their continued recruitment.

Whether any student present for the riot thought what they were doing was okay is irrelevant, because about 80 percent of the people shown in the Youtube videos are holding cameras and smart phones ¾ making their behavior impossible to get away with.

What they thought was merely documenting the day for their own memories, was in fact creating photographic evidence of the crimes for the city prosecutors.

There is no apparent accountability among the rioters, Mulligan notes. “People are saying ‘Well if they hadn’t kicked us out of the bars, we wouldn’t have been in the street.’ Like that excuses it,” she shrugged facetiously.




One response

28 11 2011
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