One morning in May, the Alpha house was raided and shut down by the authorities. What follows is an account of the events that led to its shutdown.
The tension in the room could’ve been cut with a knife. Carson and the rest of his exec board were locked in their chapter room for what seemed like an eternity. Seated across from them were four representatives from the national fraternity, each taking their turn grilling Alpha’s exec board with questions. It was a full-on membership review.
“What about this “Gameday Kegger” that, according to our records, was thrown on September 26?”
Jay, the risk reduction chair, shrugged. “We threw a kegger. So what?”
“Records show that two thousand dollars were withdrawn that day, and that money was presumably spent entirely on kegs.”
“That’s not true. We only spent like twelve hundo on the kegs. A lot of it was for bottles and decorations.”
“That’s beside the point,” replied the national rep. “Over the last six months or so, we’ve determined that your chapter has had a severe problem with misappropriation of funds, and we’re not even sure how most of this money is coming in. It all seems too good to be true. A deposit of twenty thousand dollars here, a withdrawal of eight thousand there? What kind of operation are you guys running?”
Mason, the treasurer, interjected. “This is a pretty hostile environment. I would expect this type of shit in Guantanamo, not in my own house. Tell you what: We’ll give you an itemized report of every transaction we’ve made since July of last year, and we can actually be given due process instead of…whatever this is. Does that sound good?”
The rep sighed. “Fine. If that’s what you want. But we know that you’re up to some funny shit, and we will figure out what’s going on. You’re on notice now.”
All of the national reps left the room, and for a minute Carson and his exec board were left sitting in silence. After a minute or two, Carson turned to the others with a quizzical look on his face.
“I couldn’t understand much of what he was saying.”
Mason was taken aback by this. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I couldn’t understand the cunt sounds that were coming from his flappy, cunt mouth.”
The room filled with a chorus of laughter, but then Carson assumed a more serious demeanor.
“Alright, guys. The actual membership review starts tomorrow morning. They’re going to interview every active and pledge. We’ve got to get everyone prepared. This could ruin us, should we fuck it up.”
They fucked it up. The next day, all 103 actives and 20 pledges were interviewed by Alpha nationals. A plethora of topics was discussed, such as the Homecoming party that had gotten out of control, the three cocaine possession charges that had been incurred by brothers during one week in November, and the treasury committee deciding to set up a savings account in Switzerland.
Five days later, the results were in. Only 38 actives were spared, and just five pledges. The roster had been severely gutted, and the Alpha house was now a shell of what it had been just a week before. For several days, Carson spent most of the time locked in his room, in a severely depressed state. He took everything worse than the rest of his brothers and blamed himself for things getting so out of control. The next Monday, Mason found him passed out on the floor of his bedroom amid a mess of liquor bottles and McDonald’s wrappers. He bent down and managed to shake his friend awake, though he remained in a drunken stupor.
“You’re going to kill yourself, Carson. Stop drinking so much.”
“Yeah man…I hope I….fucking DO!”
“Nonsense, man. This isn’t so bad. Say, what’s that all over your nose? Oh, Christ, that’s Xanax, isn’t it? Fuck, dude, how much did you take?”
“I took like…three bars, then I did one more.”
“So you took four bars. Four bars. Oh man…Well, I might know something that can cheer you up. A few of the boys and I are going to Chili’s later. You need to come with us. I don’t think I’ve seen you leave the house in a week.”
“No….fuck Chili’s. It….SUCKS.”
“No, no, this isn’t an option. Get cleaned up. You’re coming with us later.”
Mason was right. Going out with the brothers did make Carson feel a lot better, and he grew sober enough to make an honest assessment of Alpha’s current situation. Despite being decimated by nationals, their circumstances weren’t all that bad. They were free to recruit a new pledge class starting the next fall, and a few of the brothers that had been cut were able to successfully appeal the ruling and be reinstated. There had been quite a few shitheads in the chapter, and this might be a good chance to start over. When the brothers were all about to head home from the restaurant, Carson shared an idea with them.
“Okay, so we lost a lot of our numbers. We’re going to need to drum up interest — we’ve been quiet for too long. Let’s throw a massive banger, and let these fuckers know that we’re not going anywhere.”
This was met by very positive reception by his brothers, and they immediately ordered another round of drinks and set about planning Alpha’s comeback..