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The fraternity president sleeps soundly in his bed. Three days prior, on a Friday, there had been a party. The fraternity had put a pool in the basement, as beachwear was the party’s suggested costume. Spring break was, loosely, the theme. Unless the Pacific Islander Student Association suddenly decided that coconut bras, grass skirts, and excessive floral print were an offensive and specific misrepresentation of their culture (and a Pacific Islander Student Association actually existed at most schools) the party was in no danger of offending anyone. There was, in fact, no danger with the party at all–aside from the standard mishaps that come with a fraternity party, and drunk partygoers losing their lives with both laughable and tragic indignity by drowning in a kiddie pool that would, over the course of the night, become more bodily fluids and cheap alcohol than water.
The fraternity president’s buzzing cell phone wakes him. It’s three days after the party. It’s also too early for his alarm to go off. It’s only 9:37 in the morning, and class isn’t until 11. Naturally, he set his alarm to 10:30. He ignores his phone, but it keeps buzzing.
“The fuck?” he wonders, still ignoring his phone.
It buzzes again.
Now the president is forced to investigate. Nothing like this is ever a coincidence when you’re the fraternity president.
“Please, please God, let this just be the girl I met the other night blowing me up with inane nonsense talk about a dog or something she saw on the way to class–anything but the disaster I can’t help but expect.”
The president grabs his phone and reads the bevy of texts that just rudely woke him up. Disaster it is.
Three days prior, on a Friday, there had been a party. For the several days after that, the fraternity members discussed the party. They talked about it at lunch and dinner. They talked about it while watching the playoffs in their TV lounge. They also talked about the party on their private Facebook page.
The party had been a shitshow. The amount of topless girls was gloriously gratuitous. The liquor flowed like the water that escaped the dangerously oversized, plastic Walmart pool the pledges had set up in the basement, which seeped into the walls. This would eventually create mold, destined to put a member initiated a decade later in the hospital with a rare illness that his weak immune system was incapable of handling–some sort of super mold that fed on asbestos before growing a hunger for human internal organs. Everyone got fucked up. Many things had gotten fucked up as well.
The fraternity members discussed all of this–in writing. They talked about who was the most blackout, how many wieners the most blackout member probably sucked because he was so gay for blacking out so early, girls’ breasts, the quality of said breasts, pictures to prove said quality, who played with said breasts later, more discussion of breast quality, more pictures of said breasts, and a bad (and hopefully not based in reality) rape joke (or 10). All of this was discussed. All of this was leaked.
The president had seven text messages and three missed calls, all of which had corresponding voicemails. All the texts were some variation of, “Fuck dude fuck what the fuck do we do fuck dude we’re fucked call our lawyer.” The voicemails, however, were more concerning. In 2014, people don’t leave voicemails unless it’s really important. When you are a fraternity president, that level of importance is rarely good news. You receive a notification that you have won an award via email. You receive condemnations, requests for comments from the media, and requests for a face-to-face at the local police station via voicemail. You also get roughly 30 emails asking for comments about the story. The voicemails, however, are the most dire.
“Hello Mr. Denton, this is Hannah Rhodes from The Daily…”
“Mr. Denton, this is Officer…”
Next fucking voicemail.
“Tim, this is Howard Carson from the national office…”
The fraternity president briefly considers buying as much gasoline as possible, pouring it onto a lake, setting that lake on fire, and throwing his cell phone into it.
The fraternity’s Facebook group threads got leaked to the press. They’re all over the Internet. Gawker has mocked and condemned them. Jezebel has called for the castration of all men over 12. TFM has given the threads the once over, too. Local media is ready to pounce. The Greek Life Office will come down on the fraternity soon. IFC officers publically condemn the leaked conversations while frantically texting their chapters’ secretaries, ordering them to delete every single incriminating word off their own Facebook groups and email listservs.
The president throws on some clothes and runs downstairs. Immediately, his brothers bombard him with thousands of protests.
“This is bullshit! It’s private correspondence!”
“Dude, fuck this. They can’t pin us for this.”
“They used my name! They didn’t have my permission! That’s illegal.”
All of the protests are so pointless and unimportant that they aren’t even worth acknowledging. Even if some, or all, are technically true, there are no technicalities in this situation. If someone kills you, he doesn’t care if murder is technically illegal–and even if justice catches up to him, you’re long dead by then anyway.
There’s nothing to do and nowhere to go. All there is to do is batten down the hatches and hope the storm passes. Unfortunately, this tornado is an F5 and your shelter is in a treehouse. If this was “The Wizard of Oz,” the bastard who published your private messages would be Miss Gulch, evilly cackling as she cycled by on the winds of the shitstorm. Unfortunately, that’s where the analogy ends, because your fraternity is not Dorothy and Toto. You don’t get whisked away into another land. Instead, everyone gets impaled and ripped apart by flying debris from the storm.
From there, it’s anyone’s guess, though no rational guess has a good (or fair) outcome.
Unless there is a terrorist attack against America, and the Russians orchestrated it, and it also happens on your campus, there is no avoiding the fallout.
Lock your shit up, kids.