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Administration Frowns at Inaugural Drinking Game

While the school seemed charged with energy in the days preceding President John Kroger’s inauguration, a number of students just couldn’t get that excited about the event. That is, until a certain game helped them see inauguration through a new lens: the lens of cheap and poor-tasting alcohol. An “Inauguration Drinking Game,” which instructed participants to drink if Kroger “talks about the ‘Life of the Mind,’” “quotes a philosopher,” or “says the word ‘Reedie,’” proliferated on Facebook amongst the student population, engaging them in a challenging new way to have fun at Kroger’s grand soiree.

It didn’t start as an actual challenge, though. “I didn’t realize that people would take this as a real game,” creator Ben ‘14, who asked that his last name not be used, said. “I was just sitting with friends, and we were talking about how boring inauguration would be. Then I thought of how much more interesting the whole spectacle would be if you were drinking at the same time. Plus, Kroger already has a stereotype built up around campus, he already has such a character, that there are plenty of tropes we can poke fun at. I didn’t make it to be real, I just wanted to satirize Krogs a bit, welcome him in.”

Apparently that message didn’t reach many students reading the Facebook event, who took the joke literally. On his experience with the Inauguration Drinking Game (subtitled “Gettin’ Gone with John”) one freshman who preferred to remain unnamed said, “It was fun, but I finished my drink halfway through his speech. When you have a president that says ‘Life of the Mind’ every other sentence, your drink will be gone fast. However, I spent the remainder of inauguration pleasantly inebriated.”

“Dude, you weren’t pleasantly inebriated, you were belligerently drunk!” a friend interjected. “That was later; during the speech I was pleasant,” the freshman retorted.

However, the drinking game wasn’t all fun and underage imbibement. Ben received a tenebrous and urgent e-mail the night before inauguration from Associate Dean of Student and Campus Life Bruce Smith urging Ben to take the event down and meet with him the next morning. Smith was concerned the event might damage Reed’s public reputation, though after Ben argued it was an exercise of free speech, he allowed the event to continue. Smith could not be reached for comment by press time.

With the event back up, many participants rejoined the fold, and the inauguration, and the game, went off without a hitch. It certainly led those that partook to have a certain elation about the entire goings-ons. The ‘pleasantly inebriated’ freshman testified, “I went into the inauguration thinking it was going to be pretty corny, but, by the end, I was very happy to be at Reed.”

13 Responses to “Administration Frowns at Inaugural Drinking Game”
  1. “Bullshit bingo” is far superior to drinking games for mocking cliches, in that it allows more options and more varied participation without AOD or health concerns.

  2. An Actual Communist says:

    Associate Dean of Student and Campus Life Bruce Smith needs to chill the fuck out with the paranoid authoritarianism. Also, I think this article shows that despite the overt efforts of the Administration to kill off the last vestiges of Olde Reed (free speech for example) that the student body still isn’t cowed by Nu Reed (tools).

    For realz, son.

    • I’m with Chris—Bruce’s actions were justified given that the Facebook event could have done harm to Reed’s image in the long run. Why Ben didn’t make the event private and invite Reedies with the instructions to invite other Reedies is beyond me.

  3. Chris Lydgate '90 says:

    Communist, it’s kinda lame to accuse Smith of paranoia while you hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

    Plus which, there’s nothing “Olde Reed” about using Facebook to promote a drinking game!

    As a former investigative reporter, let me tell you that Bruce’s concerns are real. This is exactly the kind of stuff journalists seize on to paint Reedies as a bunch of party kids. And guess what? They can seize on it weeks, months, or years from now—as long as that FB post is live.

    It’s not paranoia, my friend. It’s the internet.

    I’m with Rory on this one.

  4. Jordan H. says:

    I don’t know… I’m finding this a little hard to swallow. Would a reporter really find this Facebook event (or this Quest article) and write a story about the fact that Reed students participated in a drinking game? Not only is that within the bounds of normal college behavior; it’s *quintessential* college behavior. No one got hurt, no one went to the hospital, so the story you’re left with is “College Students Consume Alcohol”. Not even the Willamette Week would touch that.

    I don’t think Ben was smart to make this a public event but I also think Bruce’s reaction was excessively paranoid and contributes toward the increasingly paternalistic, invasive role many students feel the administration is taking on.

    The Reed administration is understandably concerned about PR, especially given events in the last few years, but they should take into consideration how their actions are affecting the climate of the campus. It may be that they can’t be blamed because they simply don’t know students have these concerns. There’s a prevailing sense of defeatist apathy among students and a corresponding lack of public dialogue. That’s something I would like to see change.

    • A reporter might not make this single event a story, but if something bigger comes up later they’d be able to use this incident and others to turn an ‘event piece,’ so to speak, into a ‘trend piece,’ which would be more damning.

  5. Jordan H. says:

    Well, one thing’s for sure: The Quest made that hypothetical reporter’s job a thousand times easier by publishing an easily-searchable online article about the event.

  6. Renee says:

    Jordan run for Senate!

  7. Jordan H. says:

    Thanks Renee, but I prefer jeering from the sidelines.

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