Friday, February 1, 2013

#43: #FugitiveFest

Lucky's taking advantage of the improvised Fugitive Fest. Photo from

Due to the quarters to semesters change, many Ohio University “fests”, which have traditionally been held during warm May weekends, have been moved to chillier April weekends. This has led to much speculation about the future of OU “fests” and the inclusion of Ohio University on the Princeton Review party school rankings. However, on Wednesday, an unplanned emergency on campus allowed students to show the country their true party school potential.

On two separate occasions within a 12-month period, Athens, Ohio has become a haven for criminal activity. First, during Spring Semester 2012, to the ire of the community, an escaped convict gallivanted about campus. Now, on Jan. 30, 2013 an armed robbery occurred near Stocker Center, resulting in a campus closure at noon for the rest of the day. The truly ingenious factor in the armed robbery however, wasn't the five dollars that the suspect was able to pilfer from an unwitting college student; rather it was the festivities that ensued afterwards.

Drunk, or Athens?

With an unofficial mid-week holiday, it’s reasonable to assume that most college campuses would break out into sporadic parties. After all, the tradition of massive alcohol consumption isn’t a new phenomenon in college towns. However, the fashion in which Court Street blossomed into a sea of delirious drunkards was truly something special. Within 30 minutes of Vice President Lombardi’s tweet that classes were cancelled, a new “hashtag” started circulating throughout the Athens’s Twitter-verse: #FugitiveFest. The newly dubbed fest quickly gained momentum and soon, an alternative media outlet picked up on the story. turned the story around within a few hours, not highlighting the robbery, but rather the day drinking festivities that were being held in bars, as well as in off campus residences.

While making any excuse to day drink may not be uniquely Athens, the exuberance and ingenuity that the student body felt toward having a beer instead of heading to class definitely is. Not to mention the haste with which so many students disregarded the possibility of a gunman showing up on Court Street and knocking over a few more poor college students. Fugitive fest proved to be a success and should serve as a catalyst to skyrocket OU back to the top of the party school rankings, in 2013, making the impromptu party, purely: ATHENS.

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