Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Major Rager at URI

The whole state is buzzing about "The Major Rager" that is scheduled to be happening in Narragansett.

But is senior Chris Allen in for more than he bargained for? With 2,354 attending guests, 258 maybes, 3,524 awaiting reply, and Turn to 10 News on his back, I'd say so.

Originally, the plan was for Allen and a "few buddies" to throw something together for URI students, that something being a party of epic proportions. He described it as "something kind of like an underground rave, but much more awesome." Last night, I took that to mean less scary, more organized, and more safe. Allen's idea seemed to be to prove that URI was still the number one party school, despite being dropped off the "official" Playboy list (reportedly because they no longer rank professionals among amateurs). I have to admit, I saw that two of my friends were attending this event, read the description, and immediately wanted in. Not that I actually planned on going, but I wanted to know when it was going to be. Part of Allen's plan was to keep the date and location secret until the night of. If I wasn't working, then I probably would have checked it out. I did see that ten minutes prior someone posted that it had been mentioned on channel 10 news. But without thinking twice, I RSVP'd as attending and went to bed.

Ten minutes later, I jumped up. What was I thinking? I didn't want to be a part of this, not if the news was getting involved. Chris Allen was probably going to get expelled. The people on the list would probably get warned or suspended, or at least put on some sort of watch list. I wasn't going to be involved in this. I turned my laptop back on and logged on to Facebook. Stupid, stupid, stupid I thought. I couldn't get my name off the event completely, but changed my RSVP to not attenting.

But where did all this paranoia come from? Why was I scared to RSVP to a party on Facebook? Because of all the horror stories that I've heard about high school students being suspended for pictures on Facebook. And the stories about students being suspended for what that they said, off school property, online, from their own computers, to a rival school. And the event, much like the Major Rager, that invited 60 students to bully another student, for which 12 were suspended.

Clearly, the walls of the school are no longer the boundaries within which students can be punished. Because of this, I didn't feel safe to RSVP to a party. That feeling of not knowing what my own rights were, what I could be punished or held accountable for, really upset me. Where are these boundaries? When will they be drawn? Will it take an event like the Major Rager to become the next supreme court case that does down in the history books, deciding the course of action in cases like this for the next century?

For now, Chris Allen has decided to 'legitimize' the Major Rager. He is in the course of finding sponsors for the party and a paid venue. But really, this defeats the original purpose and takes away from the event and its participants. I for one won't be attending "Major Rager" night at Bon Vue. It also avoids confronting the burning questions that we need to answer as a culture regarding boundaries between schools and their students online life.


  1. Hey.... This is Chris Allen, seriously it is. And I think this is a pretty righteous blog post. I appreciate the concern, really I do, and I think the other 4,000 people may even appreciate it as well. Anyways it is legitimized now, off of school property, and in no way affiliated with the school itself. And just to let you know, I don't know what you mean by culturally deprived, but this SMALL festival, is ONE OUT OF PROBABLY THOUSANDS that goes on around the country each year. Rhode Island just doesn't know what to do because it's never had to deal with something like this. So if this hasn't changed your mind, well, actually I don't really care, but you should every other person from Rhode Island will be there, except you i'm guessing, because i don't think your paranoia convinced your friends to change their minds when you realized it was EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS, AND EVERY person you are friends with on facebook.

  2. I agree with you, I would also like to add that I see you weren't attacking anyone in this article. I do agree we have some culturally depraved college students who would willingly pay to party, which is ludicrous, you can go to college parties and not be in college, its cheaper. Anyways, the title is a little off, so I think you are bringing an air of attack with it. The article though explains things to be different in that, from my synthesis, you are defending the limitations of punishment? Which if people do not see that then I suppose they are culturally depraved and ignorant...hmmm, good work.

  3. Chris, I honestly didn't mean to offend you if I did. This blog is required for a culture class. It is a blog where I have to post once a week about culture.
    The title is because before I took this class I lived under a rock. I never watched TV or the news or listened to the radio. I am saying that I am the culturally deprived one.
    I wrote about the Rager because it was such a cultural phenomenon in RI. And the post is literally my reaction to it. I did get freaked out that you were going to be made into some kind of example. And I did wonder why I thought that. I hated that I felt the need to cancel my RSVP because I didn't know the limits of my online rights. I think that there are very important questions raised by the need to legitimize it.

    And the end part about me not going- if it is legitimate, then I technically wouldn't be allowed to attend (or drink) because I'm not 21. A lot of people would be in the same boat. And I think that does take a lot away from the original idea.

    Tom- thank you. I think you understood what I was getting at.