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Going Down With The Ship: 3 Months Until Shutdown

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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.

“Fuck that guy. We’re going to bury him!”

Carson paced around the living room, as if it would help him draw up any ideas on how to deal with the latest problem he faced. After coming up with nothing, he tensed up and threw his iPhone across the room, connecting it with the brickwork of the fireplace. That was the third phone shattered in the last six months. Mason stood up and put his hands on Carson’s shoulders.

“Calm down, man. This is going to be fine. It’ll go away, just like the other thing.”

The “other thing” that Mason was referring to was a recent sexual assault allegation that Alpha was still in the midst of. Some girl pressed charges on one of their members for sexual assault, after which it was revealed that she wasn’t even at the house on the night it supposedly happened. It was clear that she was doing it purely for attention, but that hadn’t stopped the Alpha house from being on high alert for several weeks. Two months had passed, and so far nothing had come of the allegation. However, this new situation made the previous one look like child’s play.

Four years ago, Alpha had put a kid through named Myers. Myers was always a strange kid, with a creepy and aloof demeanor that made the current brothers wonder why he was never dropped during his pledge process. He had been expelled two years ago due to serious violations of the rules, one of which involved the $2,000 balance that he owed to the fraternity. Mason, the treasurer, had finally pulled the trigger two weeks ago and transferred Myer’s account to state collections. Following this, Myers began to lash out at Carson and the rest of the house on social media. Some highlights of his threatening texts, tweets, and emails read as follows:

-“You guys burned me, now I’m going to BURN YOU. Tick tock, motherfuckers.”
-“Can’t wait until the day I burn down Alpha. Privileged fucks. They have it coming to them.”
-“You’re a dead man, Carson. I’ll watch the life drain from your eyes.”
-“You’re not safe, Carson. Everyone will know soon enough.”
-“I’m burning Alpha to the fucking ground. You just wait.”
-“Ready to die, Carson?”

Carson wouldn’t normally be concerned about all the hot air coming from someone like this, but he had recently been notified of the fact that Myers was in possession of more than one firearm and had a long history of doing drugs such as meth and acid. His Twitter feed read like the ramblings of a serial killer, and he had been spotted on campus several times in the past week. How the fuck the house had ever seen fit to put this guy through was beyond him. It was now coming back to bite them several years later.

Mason continued to try to calm his president down.

“Relax, he’s not going to do shit. This kid’s a pussy, and we’ve had a detective monitoring his social media for weeks. He’s not going to try and kill you. You need to get some sleep — your eyes are bloodshot. There’s nothing to worry about.”

Carson let out a pained sigh and met Mason’s eyes. “That’s not the point. I know he’s not going to do shit. But ever since I took over, we’ve had three or four things like this. It’s getting to me lately. Why are so many people trying to take us down? We’re not hurting anyone.”

Carson paused for a second, then continued. “I know you don’t have an answer. I don’t need an answer. What I do need is for Myers to take a bath with a fucking toaster.”

He began to laugh at what he just said. Mason followed suit, going from stone-faced to laughing hysterically in just a few seconds. They then began to exchange their thoughts about Myers.

“I hope he overdoses.”
“I hope he drinks a fifth of bleach.”
“I hope he plays in traffic.”
“I hope he walks through Chicago with a target painted on his chest.”
“I hope he falls into the lions’ den at the zoo.”
“I hope he has to room with a guy named Bubba when he goes to prison.”

The volume of their laughter grew as they went back and forth about Myers, and Carson found himself in far better spirits than he had been in a few minutes earlier. One thing that Carson now knew about the presidency was that no matter how bad things got, it was important to be able to laugh at how ridiculous everything was. A few years from now, these would all just be memories, and the death threats, accusations, allegations, rumors, shit-talking, and back-stabbing would be well into the distant past. While contemplating this, another thought materialized in Carson’s mind.

“You know what, Mason? It’s goddamn feast or famine in this place.”

All Mason could do was nod in agreement. Despite the ambiguous and somewhat cryptic nature of what Carson had just said, Mason knew exactly what he was getting at. Things had changed so much in the last few years. When he and Carson both pledged Alpha, neither of them could imagine how high the stakes would get just a few years later. Back then, Greek life was something that was all laid out before them, everything right there for the taking and ready to be explored. Now that all this time had passed, things had grown so complicated for both of them that they sometimes wondered whether or not this was all worth it. The answer they arrived at time and time again was: Fuck yeah, it’s worth it. We’re twenty-one years old, and we have everything.

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WJ Cope

He's the real reason people say "No one likes you when you're 23."

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