If you were to be taken on a tour of the headquarters for the Albany Times Union, you would come across a large picture hung prominently in one of its hallways. It’ll catch your eye and, for some of you, it might also illicit an audible gasp.

It is a photograph taken during the 2004 celebration of Fountain Day. The picture, seen on your right, is of two students (one male and one female) captured in a pose that unintentionally(?) looks like a scene out of a softcore porn flick.

The photo won an Associated Press Award, which is the excuse given for its prominent placement. The attitude of male staff members who giggle, point, and everything else short of high-fiving each other when they pass it might suggest otherwise, but that’s neither here nor there.

This image may not be pornography, but it is iconography. It’s the penultimate visual representation of the public image for a school that has been fighting an uphill battle to better its reputation academically and shed its reputation as a party school.

Then there was the Kegs and Eggs riot on the morning of Saturday, March 12th, which has thus far resulted in over forty arrests ranging from violations of noise ordinance to assaulting a police officer. Yesterday, the fallout continued.

As was first reported by the Albany Student Press’s twitter account (and subsequently on this space) Sunday afternoon, SUNY Albany has cancelled Fountain Day 2011, which was set to take place April 10th. It is a move that has seen a strong negative response from a student body that feels unfairly ostracized for the actions of a few, but may also be an unfortunate but necessary step for a school that has seen its reputation tarnished by the events two weekends ago.

Fountain Day started in 1978 as an unofficial celebration of the activation of the campus’s fountain. Over the course of the next thirty-three years, it grew into a gathering of literally thousands.

While intended to be a simple Spring celebration and gathering of students, it also has its dark side, with many drinking to excess and being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning among other disruptions. As a result, in recent years the event has been heavily monitored by both the University Police and local law enforcement.

Many argue that this isn’t much different from annual Spring celebrations at other colleges and Universities in the area. However, that conveniently discounts the fact that the University at Albany has a larger student population than St. Rose, Sage, Union, Rensselaer, and Siena combined, and as such puts a significantly larger strain on the resources of local law enforcement, ambulance services, and health care facilities than similar events.

Not to mention the fact that the University at Albany has an undeniable reputation as a party school despite the best efforts of administration to shake a reputation that has garnered not only some embarrassing press in the last decade, but also the wrong type of student.

Should it fall on the school itself and specifically its Admissions department to improve its standards? Perhaps, but in fairness to them, there’s simply no way to tell from a college application process and background check which students are going to contribute to the community and bolster the reputation of the school, and which one is going to smash up a car and embarrass his father on a national stage. It is clear, however, that this small amount of the population that generates so much negative public reaction and hostility towards the school is attracted to SUNY Albany specifically because of its status as a party school.

There’s an understandably defensive attitude coming from students in reaction to the cancellation of Fountain Day this year. It does seem unfair that the entire student body is being punished for the actions of what is a relatively small portion of its population. However, this isn’t exactly coming out of the blue. As noted, it’s a large affair that often encourages the wrong type of behavior, and over the course of the last several years has had to be increasingly more monitored and restricted as a result of bad behavior and transgressions.

The Administration has been looking to re-brand Fountain Day for some time as part of a larger effort to establish itself as a more serious public University that does not simply hand diplomas out like a cigarette vending machine at a bar. Many have complained that the Administration and SUNY President George Philip is conveniently taking advantage of an unfortunate situation to further their own agenda. I have to ask, though, if that agenda really is as nefarious or misguided as so many students paint it as.

The bottom line is this: SUNY Albany has been looking to shed the party school image for some time. It would be nice if Fountain Day had existed separate and apart from all of the academic and behavioral problems the Institution has faced in recent years, but in reality it has come to be an exemplification of it. It celebrated what the school was, but not what it should strive to be.

Something had to give. It’s unfortunate that it came the expense of so many who would have celebrated responsibly and who were every bit as shocked and dismayed at the behavior of some of their fellow students as others in the greater Capital Region were. But if that significant portion of the general student population wants to be separated from what has become an undesirable and at times criminal element amongst its own, and if they really are sincere and earnest in their desire to improve the perception that the general public has of them, then it might be wise to embrace those changes rather than fight them.

The Kegs and Eggs Riot were unprecedented. The reality, though, is that they were not an aberration so much as a culmination. Without changes to the overall direction and culture of the school and its students it was likely to only get worse.

SUNY students can either rid themselves of their reputation or maintain all the things that gave them that reputation in the first place, but they can’t have it both ways. It’s one of those hard lessons of adulthood that is usually reserved for the post-college “real world.” However, it is better for both students and the school as a whole that this important life lesson is conveyed now, before it’s too late.

108 Responses to Fountain Day 2011 cancellation: overreaction or necessary sacrifice?

  1. Roger Green says:

    It’s the inevitable consequence of the actions you mentioned.

    But I do remember that photo when I saw it in the paper at the time; definitely provacative.

  2. Alan says:

    I’m all for a little questionably-inappropriate fun, but I’m erring on the side of cancellation. Clearly, with 40 arrests and counting, enough students have shown that they can’t handle this sort of thing.

  3. “Many argue that this isn’t much different from annual Spring celebrations at other colleges and Universities in the area. However, that conveniently discounts the fact that the University at Albany has a larger student population than St. Rose, Sage, Union, Rensselaer, and Siena combined, and as such puts a significantly larger strain on the resources of local law enforcement, ambulance services, and health care facilities than similar events.”

    I don’t think it conveniently discounts it, because unlike those schools, they actually HAVE their own law enforcement (actual, armed police with an onsite base), their own ambulance service (Five Quad), and their own health care facility.

  4. “Many have complained that the Administration and SUNY President George Philip is conveniently taking advantage of an unfortunate situation to further their own agenda.”

    What’s the agenda? LOL… it’s not like he’s Mr Burns looking to block out the sun.

    • Chris – re: agenda. My point exactly. Same with the banning of alumni from Fountain Day. It’s not as if they sat around going “yeah, we’ll get those alumni by banning them from Fountain Day!”

      re: PD and health facility. No, but they do have security staff and health centers. Not to the extent, but proportionately adequate.

  5. In all seriousness though, George is in a tough spot that none of us would want to be in. He’s pretty much going to be “wrong” in someone’s eyes no matter how he addresses this.

  6. Greg says:

    The administration is going to look back at this decision and say to themselves “that was a mistake”… punish the idiots responsible for the kegs and eggs debacle, make an example of them. By doing this the administration is turning the kids that are siding with them against them. The kids will be there on fountain day, maybe not at many, but what will you do then? Have the campus police arrest them all, round 2 anyone?

  7. Jason Purvis says:

    Overreaction. I think it’s the first step in a domino effect that will in turn bring in more of the ‘wrong’ type of student. They want to re-brand, then re-brand don’t cancel.

  8. Libby Post says:

    I remember fondly my days at the University and partying meant something totally different back then–I’ll leave that to your collective imaginations. Nonetheless, I agree it is a shame to cancel Fountain Day but a necessary move by an administration looking to protect its students. Yes, protect. Fountain Day began as a handful of students hanging out at the fountain, throwing frisbees and revelling in the visual of the fountains being turned on and in the advent of spring. Now it is just an excuse to drink earlier than usual. Whatever happened to student activism where action and social change was more important than a 6-pack and sex? There was a time at SUNY Albany when students protesting the Viet Nam war crossed over Washington Ave. and closed down the Thruway. Much more productive as far as I’m concerned.

  9. HomeTownGirl says:

    I think they did the right thing choosing to cancel ‘Fountain Day’. These kids clearly don’t need another reason to party. And for the ones who did not participate in the St Patricks day trouble, put some peer pressure on those who did. They deserve it.

  10. GOOSE says:

    I love the picture above…is it a coincidence that the girl is wearing green? haha

    My favorite reaction to the Fountain Day cancellation was the kid on the news that said, ‘They can’t stop it, it’s going to happen regardless.’ These students really think they run the show…time for a reality check.

  11. Apathetic says:

    Good, but I can not help but wonder on this is going to effect the Tulip Festival. Is the City of Albany Police going to be in force to make sure these college students do NOT create another issue at that festival? Will a strong Police presence lead to an inevitable conflict with the Student body? I do not have the answer to those questions, but will not attend the Festival b/c of these concerns that I have.

  12. ann says:

    I taught at SUNYA a little over 5 years ago and hated, let me repeat, hated Fountain Day. For one thing, classes are not canceled but all students act as if they are. Plus it’s usually cold.

    I’m totally in favor of eliminating Fountain Day. I really could care less if the studnets think they are being unfairly punished. Life is not fair and the sooner they learn this, break out of their intitlement mentality, and learn to act responsibly, the better.

    In the scheme of things; meaning what is happening in this country and the rest of the world, is cancelling Fountain Day really a big deal?

  13. ann says:

    Jason Purvis: Could you elaborate on why you think cancelling Fountain Day will end up attracting the wrong kind of students to SUNY? I do not follow your point.

    • Apathetic - Tulip Fest isn’t likely to be as much of an issue. Tulip Fest is May 8th; SUNY final exams start May 5th and end May 12th. Far fewer Undergraduate students will be around/partaking to the extent they were for St. Patrick’s Day or Fountain Day.

  14. Bill says:

    I’m disappointed with SUNY Albany’s decision (I’m not a current or former student of SUNY). I do not believe that punishing the entire population for the acts of a very small minority of idiots-gone-wild is the right course of action, and may contribute to a greater problem.

    From what I’m already hearing via news and online chatter is that students plan to celebrate Fountain Day anyway. This could be highly problematic both in the form of continued bad press for SUNY and a potentially explosive situation at hand.

    Looking back at Kegs & Eggs, it was estimated that about 10% of SUNY’s students were partying that day, and of that 10%, a small minority of those students were being overly disorderly and destructive. Most in attendance were just there to have fun and kept things civil.

    SUNY students already feel beaten down by being associated with the drunken idiots who decided to get violent during Kegs & Eggs. Canceling the Fountain Day celebration will likely not prevent an event from happening. It will probably just prevent SUNY from being able to reasonably control it.

    It’s a truly disappointing situation, and one that I think SUNY could have done better to address rather than just canceling the event completely.

  15. Jason Purvis says:

    Kevin indicates that the the ‘party reputation’ can bring the ‘wrong’ type of student. I just think that getting a reputation for reacting to the ‘bad’ students by taking away University activities may keep ‘good’ students away and by default bring in more ‘bad’ students.

    I’m on shaky ground with my own reasoning. I could easily be convinced to hop to the other side of the proverbial fountain.

    • Jason - I sort of understand your reasoning there. The thing to remember, though, is that these are changes meant to change the reputation long-term. Prospective students applying for admission aren’t likely to consider the fact that there’s no longer a Fountain Day as a part of their decision, particularly since they don’t have the context of being a student pre-cancellation.

  16. Alex says:

    I still think there needs to be some blame on the Albany Police Dept for the Kegs n Eggs fiasco. This was an off-campus and unorginzed event, the streets of Albany are supposed to be kept safe my the police department. This past weekend another top detective was chareged with DWI. Clearly the APD have a hard enough time policing thier own. Tulip Fest, Fountain Day, and others don’t cause as much major concerns becasue the APD knows and is prepearred.

  17. Brian Denvir says:

    “But if that significant portion of the general student population wants to be separated from what has become an undesirable and at times criminal element amongst its own, and if they really are sincere and earnest in their desire to improve the perception that the general public has of them, then it might be wise to embrace those changes rather than fight them.”

    So maybe we should have just “embraced” the stuff that happened in the Student Ghetto, instead of trying to “fight it.” This is not something that sits well with the student body here at the University. This isn’t high school. How many arrests were made? How many students ACTUALLY destroyed property that day? I guarantee you that it is even less than just a small percentage of students. There is an entire student body. President Philip has said that he hasn’t forgotten about the great things this student body has done and accomplished. It’s clear that he has. And it’s clear that the media has. This campus got so much publicity for 100 kids or less smashing in a car. But I didn’t see one Times Union writer, or one news camera here on Saturday when thousands of students gathered in the SEFCU Arena for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to raise money for cancer. The students and staff here raised thousands of dollars for a great cause. This isn’t just a party school. And I hope the media and the community can get that through their heads. This is like throwing an entire family or community in jail because one person murdered another. This is holding an entire community responsible for the actions of very few. If you’re brother killed somebody, or committed some type of criminal act, would YOU want to be held responsible? I think not. This is outrageous and childish and was a rash decision made way too soon just so the media can have a field day with it. I’m tired of being treated like a little kid. I’m an adult who should be treated like one, along with the other 17,500 students who didn’t smash in any cars. It’s completely unfair to hold an entire community responsible.

    • Brian - I understand your frustration, but a few points to consider.

      1. re: coverage of Relay for Life. I think it’s wonderful and all that participated should be commended; that said, this is how the world and media coverage works. Every single college in this area has its own Relay for Life event, and as such it’s hardly news. Besides, if an individual commits a charitable act ie does the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk but then another gets arrested for stealing a car, guess who ends up on the front page? Also, though you’re doing it just to make a point, something like Relay for Life is not something one does to be congratulated on and/or rewarded for, and calling for such is antithetical to the true nature of charity.
      2. ” If you’re brother killed somebody, or committed some type of criminal act, would YOU want to be held responsible? “ False equivalence. The cancellation of Fountain Day is not as severe a punishment as me being arrested for a murder my brother committed..
      3. “How many arrests were made? How many students ACTUALLY destroyed property that day?” More destroyed property than were arrested, I can guarantee that. Also, many more cheered on the carnage (just listen to the reactions in the video) and have damaged property in and around the Pine Hills neighborhood on a weekly basis. It is a small percentage, but it is not solely limited to those who had their mug shots taken in the last week.

      It is unfortunate that students such as yourself and many others I know that want to (and do) have a positive influence on the community have had their Fountain Day celebration taken away because of the actions of so few of your student body. But that this is a result of a culture that has grown at the University cannot be denied, and though you’re right in saying SUNy isn’t just a party school, it does unfortunately carry that reputation and will continue to do so until this very real problem is addressed.

      This is also, I should note, not much different than would be if – say – a group of Albany residents in general had rioted on St. Patrick’s Day after a history of bad behavior at similar events. It has been the case in the past where unruly behavior at public events in certain municipalities has led to further restrictions or cancellations. The Albany “Alive at Five” not allowing people to bring in alcohol is a perfect example of this. Unfair? Perhaps. But necessary.

  18. kathy says:

    The year that I graduated from SUCO (Oneonta) was the year of Kent State & though our campus was pretty wimpy as far as protests went, classes were cancelled 2 weeks early and we were all just given”pass” or”fail”grades (difficult to explain years later when people look at your transcript);we were sent home early and our graduation turned into a 30 minute ceremony with no speaker and diplomas mailed to us. Most of us had done NOTHING to deserve this but we sucked it up because it was for the “safety” of the community. I guess missing one more drunken debacle won’t ruin anyone’s life.

  19. D2 says:

    “From what I’m already hearing via news and online chatter is that students plan to celebrate Fountain Day anyway. This could be highly problematic both in the form of continued bad press for SUNY and a potentially explosive situation at hand.”

    Great attitude. Confrontation and violence, the new UAlbany creed.

  20. Casey says:

    Fountain Day 2004… that was a slow news day for all the coverage that it got. It really was no different than any other Fountain Day I went too- not that what was reported didn’t happen, just that it circulated nationwide that year as opposed to previous years. The water was dyed yellow (school colors gold and purple) but the people that did it didn’t take into account that the bottom of the fountain was blue and blue and yellow make green… In person it didn’t look as vivid but more like vomit.

    The cancellation for Fountain Day this year doesn’t surprise me and I don’t think it’s an overreaction. UAlbany has enough bad press and it already knows that there is a large enough percentage of it’s student population that are completely incapable of drinking, having a good time and being around large numbers of people without being a complete sloppy fiasco. Why continue to hold an event on campus where it’s known that people pregame the same way they do for Kegs and Eggs? Really it would just be irresponsible of them; the same set of characters would just show up and ruin it for the people that are mature enough to have fun without being blackout drunk.

  21. jakester says:

    I applaud SUNY for cancelling Fountain Day. Hopefully it will send a message these students and future generations will remember. Too many instances in society where people just look the other way, why not give them incentive to police themselves. I read where they are gong to change the timing of srping break in the future too. Obviously, if SUNY puts up signs outlawing going in the fountain and/or doesn’t fill it with water, they CAN control what goes on there, on campus. If enough kids like Brian get pissed off maybe then can change the attitude/image over there. Like Kathy alluded, some of our youthful years were interuppted by some serious stuff, Kent State/Vietman… cancelling fountain day, get over it.

  22. For SoCal Dane says:

    You people who act like there were only 10 bad apples causing demolition at Kegs and Eggs are delusional. The event draws THOUSANDS of students every single year and anybody that has ever been to it knows that it is always a haven for fights, grungy people, and bad behavior. Yet, thousands still attend every year to take part in the irresponsibility. To me, anyone that was there is accountable for even being around that nonsense and it represents a microcosm of the University as a whole. Where is the grungy student ghetto where you’re expected to get into fights at RPI? The worst thing they have there are engineering nerds building unsafe snowboard ramps in the summer time with leftover zamboni snow. But they are an institution of higher learning. UA in the past few decades has become a place for people to go get stoned and hammered for 5 years before graduating with a communications degree and going off to sell insurance.

    Now I am not saying everyone at UA is like this because there are certainly some brilliant minds (NANO) and hardworking people that have come out of this institution(did K.Marshall go there?). However, to act as though this Kegs and Eggs type of scene isn’t a strong presence on UA’s campus is just stupid.

  23. Brian Denvir says:

    It is definitely not necessary. And while my comparison to murder is much different, the principle issue still remains the same. Others being punished for the actions of another. The principle does not change. Take a lighter example, that is much more comparable. Say your brother broke a few windows on a car. You, not partaking in any way, shape, or form, then had to suffer the consequences of his actions. This is exactly what is happening here. And I know how the media works, and it’s atrocious. The capital region media should be aware of the great things this University does. Those definitely outshine the negative things that a few people do. And those that were there last weekend were still only a small percentage of the student body here. It’s like taking away the freedoms of an entire community. It is a complete overreaction. A lot of these kids were arrested, and some no longer attend this University. They are getting theirs. Not to mention, a lot of the bodies down on Hudson that day weren’t even UAlbany students. Some were St. Rose students who stayed on their spring break just for that weekend. Others, as the Times Union previously reported, were from different schools (SUNY Delhi I believe) who loved it and want to come back. To put the blame solely on UAlbany, is ridiculous (while I’m sure the majority were UAlbany students, it’s unfair to place all the blame). And even though there were more damaging property than those arrested, it is still in the single percentage of students who actually attend this University. Fountain Day for most is more than just a drunken party. It’s the ONE time of year that the entire University comes together in the fountain, to celebrate the University that we all love.

  24. Brian Denvir says:

    Oh, and to the person about the “new UAlbany creed.” If you look on facebook, there are already events being made to celebrate something else. These events carefully state that the events will be peaceful, and fun for all. No riots, no destruction. I’m glad all 18,000 students here support that new UAlbany creed. Because UAlbany generalizes the entire campus community. I’m pretty sure not all of them feel the same way you do. It’s clear that at least an ATTEMPT is being made to keep things calm, and simply fun. But then again, none of you care about this because all you care about is getting the University negative publicity.

  25. Brian Denvir says:


    All about the great things students and staff at this University do. That’s the news on the UAlbany website. Nothing about Fountain Day, or Kegs and Eggs. Simply the University doing what it is capable of.

  26. Tres says:

    I would hope that the more mature students who attend UAlbany will understand, appreciate and respect the decision made by the president of UAlbany. An adult mind would know that the president has an obligation to both the University and the student body to keep the college’s reputation in tact and protect the lives and safety of each and every student that attends. Should the president allow fountain day to commence despite the recent riot involving UAlbany students, and someone gets either hurt or killed due to another (intoxicated) students negligence or rowdy behavior, he would basically be begging for a lawsuit. Clearly, not every student can act responsibly at these sorts of events. His decision is not simply a matter of punishing the innocent – its a matter of protecting them from further incidents.

    Any mature individual would know that the president of UAlbany is in fact making this (appropriate) decision with an agenda in mind – and on that agenda, along with the college’s reputation is also the safety of the students in attendance. Frankly, I’d be grateful.

    And if any student wants to be upset and throw a temper tantrum over a fountain – I think that speaks volumes to their levels of maturity. Its a fountain people. If you want to splash around in water in March, go to the great escape lodge and quit whining. I don’t know where in the constitution it states that any student of any university is entitled to a ‘fountain day’. It was a priveledge. Sadly, its been revoked because of the acts of a few morons.

    Point your fingers at the individuals responsible for ruining the super fun fountain day, and not the administration at UAlbany. Either that or take your toys and go home, because clearly, you have not yet grown into your big girl/boy undies yet. Yes, I’m sure fountain day is a fun tradition. Great. Is throwing a hissy fit going to bring it back? Nope. Is it going to make you look like a big crybaby? Yup.

    Be an adult – as almost every student I’ve read comments from on these blogs claims that they are, accept it and move on. Life gets real difficult when you throw temper tantrums (while proclaiming that you’re “a grown up”) when you don’t get your own way. My ten year old knows this, I expect she will have that mastered at the college level.

    *I promise I’m not usually this witchy :-)

  27. Lucy says:

    I think it’s funny that UAlbany can’t make up their minds about how they want to be perceived. I visited their admissions office when I was looking into grad schools about six years ago. While I waited to speak to someone I glanced through their undergrad pamphlets. I had gone to Siena for undergrad and I was shocked at how much of their pamphlets focused on drinking instead of education. I specifically remember reading that “Albany has the most bars per square mile in the nation” among other key points along the same line. I wondered to myself if parents read these same pamphlets and thought twice before sending their children there. Or if perhaps they read them and left before the interview.

  28. Brian Denvir says:

    Did you go to school here? The fountain is much more than a fountain to students here. It’s a symbol of this great University. I came here because I love this University and I think it’s the greatest in the SUNY system, and certainly gives its students a top tier education. I’m ashamed at the negativity being thrown at the University, because people like you still fail to realize all the positive things that this University does, and the fantastic education I am getting here. It’s much more than just a fountain, or fountain day. It’s the issue of principle. I respect President Philip more than any of you do, having personally interacted with him. And I understand he had a decision to make, and I respect his decision. However, no students, not even the Student Association was involved with the decision. So maybe if you put on your “big girl undies” and stop buying in to what the media tells you, and you look at all the positive things that this University brings to this community, you’ll see that it’s much more than a fountain, much more than fountain day, much more than kegs and eggs. It’s a fantastic University that gives a top of the line education. This is a campus community, and collectively this University is among the top in the nation. Fountain Day is simply a symbol of all these great things, and although some take advantage of that, it’s a much bigger and more symbolic thing than just “a fountain.”

  29. Joshua says:

    Kevin: “Unfair? Perhaps, but necessary” is not a phrase that is said outside of the defense of knee-jerk retributive actions, and “Unfair? Perhaps, but necessary” will continue to characterize perverse defenses of excessive uses of police or university administration power or violence in a community which continues to count the students against the city of which they form a significant part. It is a phrase that finds home and makes banal the most mindless forms of politics, and should invite some critical self-reflection whenever one feels the need to use it. Here it comes from and grows a damaging and simplistic view that opposes students to city as opposed to an understanding which endeavors to understand the students and city as mutually constitutive. It speaks from a perspective which the media and this blog cannot be simply excused for fostering because “this is how the world and media coverage works.” The media, in its coverage of the Kegs and Eggs Riots and its neglect of other events, is an important part of constructing and destroying an understanding of how these relationships are broken and how they are sustained.

    • Joshua – I take offense to the absolutist stance of the argument, for it not only rejects the notion that we already make sacrifices for true personal freedom in regards to safety (please see…well, any legislation that has been passed ever) but also subscribes to me and others an attitude which simply isn’t there.

      Nowhere in this blog does it say “I am glad Fountain Day is gone, and more action and retribution should be taken against these little bastards.” Because that’s simply not my attitude. My attitude is, however, that it sucks that Fountain Day had to be cancelled, but it was an inevitability for an institution that drastically needs to re-brand itself if it wants to be taken seriously.

      I cannot speak for the coverage given elsewhere, only the coverage I give on this blog. Make no mistake about it: I want the SUNY students to be a part of this community, and I am eternally grateful for those that are. However, I am also a lifelong resident of this area who has seen first-hand – from both sides of the aisle – the damage that is done when students get out of control and disrespect the surrounding neighborhoods or worse. As I noted in the initial blog post last Monday, this isn’t specifically just a SUNY Albany problem. It happened when I was at Siena, and it had to be addressed numerous times and in many ways. It’s happened with RPI students in my neighborhood, and continues to happen, and actions are taken on a smaller scale to prevent it from happening again.

      As for putting the wrong focus: am I really neglecting the community service aspects when I make note within the article itself of all the good students do, and acknowledge that the actions of a few have ruined it for the entire populace? What about a follow-up post where I mention the clean-up? What about the defenses I give of students, both on this space and in comments?

      I understand what you are saying, but it’s misguided and putting a strict focus on four words taken wholly, completely, and unfairly out of context.

  30. HomeTownGirl says:

    21.”I still think there needs to be some blame on the Albany Police Dept for the Kegs n Eggs fiasco.”

    Seriously??? That’s the kind of entitlement that contributes to exactly what happened that day.

  31. rekkids says:

    What is sad is one of those spoiled brats was on a local news channel stating there were going to be parties in the fountain anyway and they couldn’t be stopped. Right after that, on comes a spot begging for taxpayers to underwrite their education because they never thought they’d leave SUNY in four years with out a degree.
    They just don’t seem to get it!

  32. Robin Hackett says:

    Before this year I had never heard of “kegs and eggs” but I had heard of Fountain Day. Specifically I heard of it almost being canceled one year. Not due to drought or economy but due to fears of out of control partying. So I’m not surprised to see it canceled this year.
    I’m saddened, yes, not due to the loss of this festival, but because its reputation was already being dragged down by bad behavior.

  33. For SoCal Dane says:

    So you went to Siena, Kevin? Whooooops. Being a lifelong resident of Troy, I have never once seen anything at RPI that resembles what I’ve witnessed at UAlbany. There are sometimes fights but they are typically started by us Troy residents, not the RPI kids. I don’t think they’re very comparable.

    • No, but my point was more that there have been incidents in the past that have been taken care of before they escalated.

      I recall one year my neighborhood (I live nearby) was trashed on a holiday weekend. So I mean, it definitely does happen.

  34. Mickey says:

    Get over yourselves, whiny Animal House wannabes. Try to get it inside your thick heads that wherever you go, whatever you do, you represent the State University of New York at Albany, and opinions will be formed and decisions made (icluding funding decisions by the Governor and the Legislature) based upon peoples’ perception of your school, which will be generalized from your behavior. As long as you adopt the Amy Winehouse attitude that “rehab is for quitters” and alcohol addiction is something to be pursued and emulated, bad things will continue to happen. It’s called wretched excess.

  35. Barold says:

    I went to SUNY from ’82 – ’87 and went to Fountain day each year. Ya know what? It’s no big deal. Ten minutes of splashing and whopping it up and it’s over. Back then Mayfest was the thing – the spring concert and beer-fest. We didn’t give a rats ass about Fountain day.

  36. Hal Jordan says:

    For anyone who is interested, I will be holding my own private Fountain Day party that same weekend. Tickets are only $45.

    Please note that for insurance purposes, the party will take place in my 1982 Ford Econoline Van. Also please note that due to other insurance purposes, the van must constantly remain in motion.

  37. u2 says:

    I commend the school for actually trying to tell the students essentially “act like adults, and you’ll be treated like adults”.

    When you combine three things:
    1) youth
    2) alcohol
    3) mass gathering

    You have a classic receipe for the “mob mentality” to errupt. Once the mob mentality takes over, you have your Kegs and Eggs scenario. 99% of the Kegs and Eggs felons probably would not normally break the law if they were not part of “the mob” that errupted St. Paddy’s weekend.

  38. tj says:

    Not an overreaction – they should cancel it permanently. It’s just another lame excuse for the partiers to get drunk and stupid – as if they need an excuse. I’ve been at UAlbany on Fountain Day. There’s not one person who can honestly say it’s not about drinking, it’s ALL about drinking – not to mention the ample supply of drugs.

  39. Ski says:

    While I agree with the school’s decision to do this, I worry for the student response. “They can’t stop Fountain Day from happening?” Uh-oh…

  40. UA Senior says:

    I do believe it is a considerably large problem that University of Albany students are continuing to be punished for the actions of a select few. As an individual who lives on Hudson, numerous friends, including my roommate have been stopped on Hudson and interrogated to identify individuals in a pamphlet they have created with zoomed in stills from the youtube videos. When students say they don’t recognize individuals in the photos- and honestly didn’t know any of the participants- they were scolded and made to feel as if they did something wrong- because they themselves don’t associate with those individuals. Making ever student feel like they are out of control, ungrateful students for the wrongdoing of a few I feel is a improper characterization of an entire student body.

    While I as a student, can also understand why some praise the cancellation of fountain day, and I believe that keeping our reputation is more important than keeping fountain day- I think what is most upsetting is the school forgetting the majority of students who do not participate in the kind of destructive behavior that occurred at Kegs and Eggs and were genuinely looking forward to the annual fountain day- especially since it will be the last for graduating seniors and current juniors and sophomores (the fountain will be closed for two years due to renovations). It’s the idea that we must suffer the consequences of the actions of a few select individuals, some of which do not even attend our university. And yes, while hundreds of student- a lot from SUNY, were crowded on the street that morning- the majority of students weren’t throwing property out windows or falling through a vehicle’s sunroof. Some say, that those that stood around and did nothing are just as guilty, but to that I definitely have to disagree. What do you think would happen if you spoke up, or a few of your friends did, against a rowdy out of control mob? And for those who use the aftermath of Kent State in reference to the cancellation of fountain day following the events of kegs and eggs are making an incorrect comparison. In no way should the tragedy of Kent State and the following of student ran protests, and university shut downs due to a fear of a similar tragedies occurring be compared to the stupidity of a couple of out of hand drunk kids that results in the shut down of an annual school- sponsored, school- spirit oriented event.

    So the solution is to first close the bars, then attempt to disassemble kegs and eggs by moving the spring break, and now- cancel fountain day. Unfortunately underage drinking in a college town is a fact of life- it will happen regardless of what barriers are put up against it. As a graduating senior, I won’t be here in the years to come, but I am pretty certain that house parties will continue to happen, and become out of control due to the uncontrolled environment and excess drinking. And kegs and eggs will still exist. It may not be on the same day, maybe a week before, or week after- but it will occur. The break may change so that no one is here for the parade but it won’t stop students from participating in a yearly tradition- all it takes is simply changing the date.

    In a letter addressing the student body, President Phillips contends that he still has not forgotten about the rest of the student body- active and respectable students- who are a shining example of the majority of individuals who attend my university. To that statement I disagree- I believe his cancellation of a school- wide event is a direct correlation to the inability to see past a few individuals who decided that “fun” consisted of destruction and utter chaos. Canceling Fountain Day will only cause bitter resentful students, who after their hard, committed work to the university, their education and community are not only being stereotyped by the media, the pubic but the very university who should be protecting the student body from those overzealous generalizations. I believe canceling fountain day sends the wrong message- and frankly makes me feel that the university has lost all confidence in our student body. Similar with all other restraints placed on college students thus far- fountain day will occur regardless. There are facebook events, protests being coordinated and people coming up with outrageous alternatives to celebrate fountain day on April 10th. It will happen- and hopefully the students who participated in the events on kegs and eggs will not be part of the new “student run fountain day” or are smart enough not to repeat their mistakes- but the lack of supervision and safety precautions that are usually in place when fountain day occurs – certainty does worry me.

    By the way, this cancellation comes the day after 1,500 students raised over $85,000 for cancer research at relay for life. Many more people showed up to this event then showed up on Hudson Avenue on March 12th- just saying.

  41. UAlbany neighbor says:

    I was pleased to hear the school’s decision to cancel Fountain Day. The keg’s and eggs video was really disturbing. Yeah, I was that age, too. I did my share of college drinking. But, I never destroyed other people’s property. I can guarantee the kids who threw the TV off that porch didn’t pay for it originally.

    Maybe if the kids, who didn’t partake in the keg’s and egg’s, get so pissed that Fountain Day is cancelled, they will turn in more names from the videos to the police and more arrest will be made. At least, I hope so.

  42. Former TA says:

    I was a teaching assistant the year that (in)famous photo was taken. I recall that on Fountain Day, I could not get off campus fast enough. The celebration not about school spirit as much as it was about drinking and drinking and drinking some more. Few students showed up to class that day and many of those who did, left early to start the celebration. Drunk students staggered into the class and then stumbled out. The year after, the celebration was moved to a weekend.
    I can appreciate the desire of students to celebrate something that is symbolic on their campus – in UA’s case the Fountain. But I think that students have forgotten that these kinds of events are a privilege, not a right. Yes, college is a time to experiment, to try new things. But it is also, foremost, a time to get an education that will prepare you for the adult world. It is unfortunate that the actions of a minority of students has resulted in the cancellation of Fountain Day. But instead of directing anger at the administration, maybe the students should direct their anger where it belongs: to those who misbehaved.

  43. kathy says:

    Here’s an idea- have another fund raiser for a charity, Japan, etc. Instead of whining about losing Fountain Day turn it around and make something positive from it.

    Each student at SUNYA needs to take a good hard look at their fellow classmates and decide whether they will continue to be “innocent” bystanders or be vital human beings. It seems like many posters are indicating that a majority of the students on the street on 3/12 were watching and not participating. If that is the case then there were plenty of people that could have stepped in and put a stop to the destruction. The fact is those “innocent”‘ bystanders are by no means innocent. They are just as guilty as the rest for not putting a stop to the chaos.

    Grow some spines, mature some and you will understand- doing nothing is as bad as doing the deed.

  44. Joshua says:

    Kevin: Each of your acknowledgements of the well-behaved students feeds into those four words that have such a long history in moral panics, so I don’t think they’re being blown out of context. Though you speak up for students who play nicely, your mention of them seems not for their own sake but rather sets them up for you to say how they should take the punishment given in order to demonstrate the extent to which they are willing to play ball with the powers that be. Such couched antogonism falls into line with the troubling view: “Well if you weren’t going to do anything wrong, you shouldn’t object to us taking away any opportunity for wrongdoing.”

  45. Joshua says:

    And I don’t think that’s the argument you want to make, but it seems to me like the argument you are making.

  46. Brian Denvir says:

    Turning in names will not get Fountain Day back. And you have to remember that this is a huge school. There’s no way that everyone knows everyone. I’m lucky if I know 5% of the students here. I don’t know anybody in any of those pictures. So I can’t turn anyone in. And I didn’t participate in breaking any windows or throwing any TVs. And I can’t turn anyone in. Does that constitute me being punished?

  47. UAlbany Alumni says:

    I agree with you # 49, maybe if these students showed some responsibility, by coming forth with the names of the perpetrators, they might actually be treated like responsible adults.
    Don’t tell me you don’t recognize them, many of you do. If you are more concerned with protecting criminals who destroyed property don’t be surprised if you are treated like someone who cannot be trusted.

  48. UAlbany Grad Student says:

    As a UAlbany graduate student, I would be extremely happy if the University could throw off the “party school” image. While many of the graduate programs are quite respected and produce excellent researchers, when people hear you are at UAlbany, people assume you are one of those drunk girls with the wet t-shirt, or worse, wrecking a car and rioting.

  49. Jeff says:

    @Ualbany neighbor—Ditto

  50. KM says:

    In a time of state lay-offs, high unemployment, low housing sales, etc., these students feel cheated because Foutain Day is cancelled?! As a taxpayer helping to subsidize their educations, I feel cheated everytime I drive through the “student ghetto” and have to swerve from hitting them as they stumble in the street or read about escapades such as the kegs and eggs riot. Kids: as you approach adulthood, you learn that life is not always what you want it to be. Suck it up and hit the books – that’s why you are here.

  51. crabby old emily says:

    I heard that the entire SUNYA population was invited downtown to clean up the mess. That 2500 students correct? I believe 150 showed up. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    As a parent of a student who attends Albany High, however, I understand how a few bad eggs(no pun intended) can unfairly tarnish the reputation of am entire community.
    But I do think it was a necessary action to cancel Fountain Day this year, Not necessarily as punishment, but for the fact that SUNYA has now become more of a fishbowl than ever. Can you imagine the negative media attention?

  52. Ethan Kaiser says:

    I’ve written about both Fountain Day and the SUNY Albany reputation on the college blog. I completely agree with the school trying to shed the “party school” reputation – it was something I was nervous about when I began studying here, but I just don’t think canceling Fountain Day is the right way to begin that.

  53. Dan Johnson says:

    I think this is a misguided and naive effort on the behalf of the SUNYA administration. There are no shortcuts when it comes to building character, for an individual or an institution. Canceling Fountain Day, while making some waves, does nothing to mitigate the party culture at SUNYA. If George was serious about improving the character of the institution, he would have found a way to not cut the departments that he let go last winter: Classics, French, Russian, Italian, Theater. Building character means taking responsibility for the culture on campus, George, not taking shortcuts.

  54. J says:

    I agree with Dan- If good old george wanted to help the community he would sit in his vehicle on these streets on any given Friday night and get a hold of these drunk students. I am a undergrad at UAlbany as well as a resident who grew up on Western and whose family owns a local pizza place. The students have terrorized the people for years but if George wanted to bring respect to the University stop all the wasted money on the new dorm and other numerous projects being built and bring back the courses you dropped and have the students learn not how to waste money but bring the community together. It si a shame that a thousand or so ‘jackasses ruined for everyone and I have read that students refuse to name names ok so what but in the end they have to live with themselves for ruining fountain day. The ones who caused this trouble are idiots and I hope they are tossed out and in jail so mommy and daddy can spend there money bailing them out or worse yet know what lif eis about and let them sit in jail. Everyone is tough when they are drunk but no one sees the view of what happened and of course APD is there for a few weeks then goes away. ask Jimmy Miller oh wait nevermind. And FYI we do have our own police force and the UPD can pull you over out of campus on any Albany street they are a division of the State Police so wht are they not controlling the crowds every weekend?

  55. Chester Snodgrass says:

    I went to SUNYA and did my share of having a good time. I attended plenty of house parties. Being rowdy and destroying property was not considered fun by my friends and I.
    The “riot” appears to have been the acts of a very small group of students. The incident happened off school grounds, and should be left to the Albany police and legal system. The school should have no involvement.
    IMHO if the school decides to expell the students, and/or cancel fountain day, they they are admitting responsibility, and will be sucessfully sued by the folks whose property was damaged in the incident.

  56. kathy says:

    With privilege comes responsibility. If the students want the privilege of campus holidays they ALL need to show responsibility. Too little effort was seen in the clean up.

    Stop with the “I’m being punished” routine. Fountain Day is not a right- it’s a privilege. When the entire student population shows some maturity and respect for their neighbors then privileges will be returned. The university is doing the only thing they can- stopping huge crowds from gathering as obviously students can’t handle it in a responsible manner.

  57. Brian Denvir says:

    UAlbany Alumni, I’m assuming you went to school here. Just a few numbers for you and for the other person who says we should turn people in. If I had 200 friends here on campus, out of the 18,000 that go here, that’s .011% of the population that I know. .011%. So don’t tell me that I know them. 200 friends is a lot to have, and I don’t think I have that many of whom I would be able to identify from the photos posted. So most students on campus only know .011% of their fellow classmates. So for you to say that it’s easily recognizable, sure, you’re probably right, by that .011% who know them. NOT by the other 99% of us. It’s unfair to tell me that I have to turn them in in order to be treated like a responsible adult. Your comment is misguided and false.

  58. countrygirl says:

    Dan and Brian–I get your valiant attempts to try to blame the UA administration for cancelling Fountain Day, but you have no valid arguments. A) events like Fountain Day perpetuate the image of UA as a party school, a situation the university is, properly, trying to remedy; B) god forbid it gets out of hand and something akin to the kegs and eggs fiasco developes because, as much as you try to defend it, it is an opportunity for students to start drinking early and often, and we know what happens when that happens; C) in these difficult economic times, the University had to cut some programs–a total no-brainer, and why wouldn’t you cut the ones attracting the fewest students?
    I also agree with the commenters who suggest that all of those hundreds of kids standing around watching and not intervening or calling 911 bear some responsibiliy for the chaos that ensued. Time to suck it up kids and move on.

  59. JP says:

    Didn’t they discontinue Party in the Park years ago due to excessive underage drinking and destruction of property? looks like no one has learned their lesson.

    Cancelling events for all because of the actions of a few isn’t fair- but it is completely appropriate when health, safety, and property are endangered. The University made the right decision.

  60. Brian Denvir says:

    Countrygirl, nobody is “blaming” the administration. The fact that this is even happening is at the fault of those few who caused destruction. Our point is the fact that you can’t blame the rest of the student body. And as for the hard economic times, Fountain Day is only a few weeks away, so all the money that was used for it most likely has already been spent in terms of planning and hiring people to work the event. And don’t tell me the Univeristy isn’t going to have more police and security at the fountain on this day due to people attempting to have their own fountain day (which would be stupid). You know what that costs? Money. A lot of money. And as for your calling 911, THE COPS WERE THERE! Who were they going to send to help? They were already on the street on that day. Who else would come to help when the entire APD was already there? That makes no sense at all to say someone should have called 911. If 200 kids are found responsible for kegs and eggs (which i’m pretty sure even with the photos they released it won’t even come close) it’s .011% of the population. But it’s ok, take it away from the other 99%, and those who actually attempt to make a difference in this community. It’s not an issue of the “administration is wrong” or “wasting money.”

  61. Brian Denvir says:

    And Kathy, your freedom isn’t a right either. It’s a privilege, because it can be taken away from you if you violate the law. So an entire community should show collective responsibility and if one person messes up, or less than 1% of that community messes up, that privilege should be taken away from them? If you live in a community of 18,000, and 100 people break the law, we should cripple all 18,000. This is essentially your argument and I completely disagree. When a privilege is taken away it IS a punishment.

  62. Brandon says:

    @#66, Countrygirl,
    This is my first time ever writing on any blog or story on timesunion. I’ve been reading comments but have had no desire to write anything until your post. The first half of your post, I’m not even going to begin at what I think. As for the second part, I want to know, do you know that no one called 911? The cops were already on the street, so by calling 911 what would the dispatcher do? Send more cops? I’m confused as to where you saw that not a single 911 call was made that morning.

  63. Tony Stewart says:

    #69 NASCAR

  64. KevinRyan says:

    The head of SUNY and all other SUNY Officials are Government appointed – this is the huge difference between the other colleges in the area.

    As such Government appointees, they need to keep a keen eye out for public disapproval.

    Seriously, can you imagine the public outcry if UAlbany had more booze related incidents in such a short time? This time on Campus?

    It’s a PR move.

  65. KevinRyan says:

    PS: I have Two Words in addition to my other comment…

    *** T * U * L * I * P * *** * F * E * S * T* !!


  66. stateworker_slug says:

    Cancelling Fountain Day was absolutely the right thing to do.

  67. HomeTownGirl says:

    Don’t ya just love when posters make your point for you (aka KevinRyan) and they don’t even realize they’re doing it. :)

  68. countrygirl says:

    Brian–I take your point, I really do–but you can’t make an argument that taking away a so-called “fun” day ruins the college experience for the rest of the kids on campus–the college experience isn’t about one day per year. I believe the U made its decision for the good of the majority; after all, another incident like the kegs and eggs thing might devalue your UA diploma in the eyes of grad school or employer decision makers.
    Brandon–I thought I read that no student called 911 in one of the articles covering the mess–I have no independent knowledge and if that is inaccurate, my bad.

  69. JAM says:

    fountain day is a school sanctioned event whereas kegs and eggs was not. yes some college kids messed up and damaged property. were all of these students from the university of albany? no they were not. why should they be the only university punished? i attended kegs and eggs and although did not vandalize, saw the vandalism that occurred. but i also saw many older kids, perhaps in their mid 20s or even older in the area as well. i saw grown men walking the streets in their drunken stupor, right after the events happened. do they get punished? whose to say they werent participating? to place all the blame on the University of albany is unfair and to revoke their privileges is wrong as well. yes the perps have been taken care of. but since some of the participants werent students, shouldnt the privileges of the regular community be taken away as well? as stated above: the tulip festival?

  70. Brian Denvir says:

    countrygirl, Nobody ever said it ruined the college experience. If you can find that in any of my posts, kudos to you. I never made that argument. It is, however, a punishment to the rest of us here. When you’re kids misbehave, you ground them, or take something FUN away from them. But in this case, over 99% of the population wasn’t even involved in the events on Kegs and eggs. Therefore, it’s not right we’re being punished. It’s like grounding one of your kids because the other kid did something wrong, while the original kid did nothing. Is that right? No, it’s not. It’s like punishing both kids for the actions of one, just to “reinstate the value of your parenting.” Frankly, that’s absurd and unfair to the rest of us who actually care about the reputation of this University, and enjoy having fun on a day to celebrate the University we know and love.

  71. tj says:

    @48 UA Senior – You stated that, “house parties will continue to happen and become out of control”, “kegs and eggs will still exist” and “fountain day will occur regardless.” Then you state, “I believe canceling fountain day sends the wrong message – and frankly makes me feel that the university has lost all confidence in our student body.” Really? The university is supposed to have confidence in a student body that you said is preparing to totally disregard their rules and regulations AGAIN and continue on with idiotic, immature behavior regardless of the fact that it’s ruining the university’s reputation? Acting like a bunch of spoiled brats and making plans to rub it in Mr. Philip’s face by partying on is not a way to gain confidence back. You all need to seriously grow up.

  72. UAgirl says:

    @For SoCal Dane- I find it very offensive that you think the majority of students go to UA to “get stoned and hammered” and believe it does not qualify as an institution for higher learning. I am graduating with a communications degree with honors, after a very fulfilling and educational 3 years (I transferred from Northeastern U.) I’m sorry you feel that UA isn’t up to your academic standards, but some of us are here to learn and not just the “brilliant” people in the nanotech department. I did not participate in Kegs and Eggs, nor am I that opposed to Fountain Day being cancelled, but please do not assume that everyone at UAlbany is an unintelligent drunk.

  73. kathy says:

    You define it your way Brian and I’ll define it my way.

    Canceling Fountain Day is just a wise choice. If you feel punished then so be it. The bottom line is- whoever told you when you were born that life is fair was simply wrong. Learn from the entire experience and, hopefully, move on. There seems to be no good reason to continue to dwell on the negative (punishment) aspect.

    If the students really care about the reputation of the university (as you have stated) then do SOMETHING for the community that feels it has been disrespected once again. Instead of splashing around in the fountain do another neighborhood clean up, have a charity event, gather supplies for the earthquake victims, etc. Obviously the school’s reputation is suffering so instead of continually trying to argue how terrible it is to lose Fountain Day do something constructive and prove you care about the school, its rep and the Albany community.

    At this point I would be very (happily) surprised if all those “caring” students actually did something to improve the school’s rep.

    With privilege comes responsibility.

  74. Brian Denvir says:

    Kathy, you fail to realize these are things we do for the community on a daily basis. I just recently received an email from the president’s office about an organization started by students and staff to help the victims of the tsunami and earth quake in Japan. UAlbany is only given credit for the things the students do negatively. I, myself, have helped a friend start an organization on campus this year to aid educational sustainability in third world Latin American countries. The money goes to building schools in Latin America, and next summer we will most likely take a trip to help build the schools hands on. So please, and I mean this in the most respectful way, don’t tell me to do SOMETHING. There is plenty that I do, and the rest of the UAlbany community does for those less fortunate. These things are just not made known because that is the way the media works. Nobody wants to hear about great organizations, just kids smashing cars. So don’t tell me that I need to do something constructive to show I care about the school. I am already actively involved, as is the majority of the UAlbany campus. You just fail to see these positive things because they are never reported on. Stop by campus one day. Spend a few days here. You’ll see all the organizations and what great things we do here at this fantastic University.

  75. Roger Green says:

    A couple points:
    1. SUNY is vulnerable to getting its budget cut even more than it has; some of the action is clearly for those who fund them
    2. the equivalency of taking the rap for a murder commited by one’s brother is interesting. Note how various governments, generations removed from the events that took place (slavery, WWII, et al) nevertheless apologize for the sins of their forebearers

  76. Rachelle says:

    I am a current UA student, who on the weekend of Kegs and Eggs went to the parade and enjoyed it and went to lunch and went for a nice walk down Madison with a friend. Not all the students deserve to be punished for what 0.003% of the student population did (no this isn’t a made up number, a little over 40 students were involved and the undergrads alone at SUNY Albany is over 13,000). I think that Fountain Day is a way to show the public that yes the UA students can get through an event without being totally destructive (maybe to avoid the drinking issue have mandatory breathalizer tests before entry). I think those who are saying its a wake up call are mistaken. Just because there is no Fountain Day doesn’t mean that kids are going to stop drinking if that’s what they want to do. Now the university is saying that they are doing this to protect our degree’s integrity, but really what employer is going to say that the cancellation of Fountain Day makes up for all the bad press over Kegs and Eggs? And yes even though the students of SUNY Albany were involved there were plenty of others involved that weren’t. Plenty of other people from many other schools, not just colleges, came up and did just as much damage. Now many of the SUNY schools have canceled their spring celebrations as well. Why is the whole SUNY system paying the cost for a few really stupid people? Oh, and by the way, the picture shown in the article is most likely the product of bad facial timing. Ever see a scene for a movie or TV show get frozen? You will most likely see a similar image.

  77. kathy says:

    Brian- I am on campus on a regular basis. Honestly, being on campus is not as impressive as you seem to think.

    While you list all the community and charitable efforts the students make, the fact remains that the reputation of the school is damaged and Fountain Day being canceled was completely necessary. So what I am saying, yet again, is that instead of focusing on the perceived negative (cancellation of a partying day) the student body needs to continue positive efforts in the LOCAL community to help repair the damage.

    Fountain Day is gone for this year. Put your time into something positive. You continue to sit here and try to change minds about the situation. Where is it going to get you? Right now it is giving the impression that you are one of the immature individuals that is whining about a situation that has been dealt with already. Whether you believe it fair or not what is done is done.

    So on the original day that was scheduled for Fountain Day do SOMETHING else for the LOCAL community. Whether you get your pat on the head for it or not it will do you, as a human being, some good- probably better than a wasted day partying at the fountain.

  78. Brian Denvir says:

    Fountain Day for the majority of students is more than just a party day. You may perceive it to be that, but have you ever been to one? Sure, kids get drunk. Does everyone? No. Like the girl above you stated, breathalyzers would solve the drinking problem. I am part of organizations that help raise money for charities daily. Thousands of kids participated in Relay for Life, raising close to $100,000 for cancer research and treatment. Again, not something you’ll hear about. The time I spend on here is my own personal time. It doesn’t take away from the time I would normally spend helping others. Frankly, I’m tired of people looking at one incident where 40 kids were arrested and bashing the entire campus and everything we do here. The great things this University and its students do would outshine that ten fold. Nobody hears of this, however. When you’re on campus, how often do you sit in on student groups? How often do you see student groups making an effort? Probably never because it’s not where your attention is focused. The grass is always greener on the other side. Maybe you should just take a look.

    • Brian -

      “Fountain Day for the majority of students is more than just a party day.”

      I’m sorry, I understand the frustration of yourself and others, but you guys are wayyyy overemphasizing the importance of a single celebratory day. Sure, it’s a tradition. There are many traditions. But the emphasis being put on this is borderline cartoonish, and people are reacting with the same manner of shock and outrage as (and some would argue more than) when the Language departments were eliminated. My point is that there’s a detachment between the actual importance of this day and the reaction here and elsewhere. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, but the point is that many people – both students and non-students – don’t take the stance seriously simply because of the exaggerated language being put behind it.

      Look guys, it sucks. Fountain Day’s cancelled. But it’s just one day and one event. If your sense of community spirit hinged on getting drunk and jumping in the fountain for an hour, then you couldn’t have had all that much to begin with.

      I also need to bring up the “40 arrests” point again. It’s actually closer to 44 or 45 now, and they’re still looking for over two dozen more. That’s just the ones they were able to identify from the videos; that doesn’t count the undocumented stuff and the hundreds of kids that were literally cheering during the carnage.

      It is unfortunate that the entire student body is smeared by the actions, but hey, that’s what happens when a small portion continually acts up and culminates in an actual riot breaking out. And I say this as a former student leader: when a significant number of your student body act in such a way, you can’t say it’s representative of every single student on campus. But you have to acknowledge there’s a problem, and you have to own it in the sense of recognizing it’s there and that it needs to be addressed.

      Thousands of kids participated in Relay for Life, raising close to $100,000 for cancer research and treatment. Again, not something you’ll hear about.

      Yet this is the (too many comments in this thread for me to count)th time it’s been brought up. And that’s just here.

      As for the rest of your posts, they’re more directed at the extreme ridiculous reactions to it, so I can’t really comment on it other than to say…seriously, if some of you people actually think education funding should be cut because of this, then that IS ridiculous and you need your goddamn head examined.

  79. Harper says:

    Slightly off topic but do we know who the girl is in that picture? Did she ever speak publically after the picture was taken? Would love to know her “story”.

  80. Brian Denvir says:

    “If your sense of community spirit hinged on getting drunk and jumping in the fountain for an hour, then you couldn’t have had all that much to begin with.”

    Again, a generalization. I went to fountain day last year, and was not intoxicated. Just a point that not all students do it.

    I agree with some of your points, though. I’m not commending the actions of those students on that day. It’s a atrocious and appalling. My simple comments about the things done on campus were in response to a few posts taking shots at UAlbany students encouraging us to do more for the community. These people show lack of knowledge for what actually goes on here. One day overshadowed the rest. And I know you, of all people, realize that much more goes on here than just what happened on Kegs and Eggs. It’s not you I’m directing these at, it’s those who doubt the efforts of the UAlbany community to make a difference in this world. I agree with you, though. I am acknowledging the faults of others. And frankly, I think it’s ridiculous that this even happened. And as for your comment on education, I’m obviously 150% behind you on that one. Unfortunately, this image is now instilled in our school. Will canceling Fountain Day help the status of my degree? No, I don’t really think so. No matter what they take away, it’s not going to overshadow what happened a few weekends ago. I understand the school has to take steps and I respect these steps. It’s frustrating to me when people only see one side of the argument, and accuse UAlbany students of having “step up and make a difference” or “do SOMETHING.” My point being, students do plenty, and I know you, Kevin, of all people probably realize that. Others, however, do not see it that way. I’ll be the first to say the actions were wrong. I’ll be the last to say that these few changes are going to stop it. They won’t, and anyone who thinks so is naive.

    This is just an example of how quick the UAlbany community can act:

    That is for those who think all students here do nothing but get drunk and destroy things.

  81. Brian Denvir says:

    “I’ll be the last to say that these few changes are going to stop it. They won’t, and anyone who thinks so is naive.”

    Before i get ostracized for this, my point is nothing will stop college kids from drinking if that’s what they really want to do. Not meaning that kids are going to break cars all the time. But kids will party, regardless. And anyone who thinks it won’t happen is naive.

  82. Just wanted to say that I have read all the posts (bored on lunch break).

    I agree with the initial point — it sucks but it’s a necessary sacrifice as far as the University as a whole is concerned. There’s bad press, regardless of how many students were involved and a good portion (not all) of the general population seems to have a tarnished view SUNY.

    However, Brian — I see what you are doing: in light of the bad press, you are showing those with the tarnished views that despite the acts of — comparitively — a small population of idiots, there are a lot of positives going on on-campus. I like what you are doing and believe that the University itself should be doing some similar PR on a larger scale…

    Maybe the Times Union should interview the President of SUNY as to the positives that the University accomplishes day to day.

  83. Brian Denvir says:

    Thanks, James. I agree with you and it would be great to see that. Unfortunately, as pointed out by Kevin earlier, people don’t want to hear about that. They don’t care about the great things we do here, just the negative things. While I don’t necessarily agree with it, it’s how the media works. It’s just very unfortunate that’s the way it works, because it’s affecting the way SUNY is being portrayed. I think it would be fantastic if the higher-ups in the University came out to the press to show that it’s not all negative here.

  84. Firebrand says:

    Here is the hard and unfair truth. Whether it’s fair or not, the place where you attend college carries with it a reputation. I don’t care what you want to say to that, it’s a fact. At this point in time if Albany does not do something to try to improve its reputation, its graduates will be behind the eight ball in the job market. A few more instances like the last while such attention is being paid to the school will discredit degrees from this institution. Sorry, it’s true. It saddens me as I received my masters from Albany and it carried a little clout back then.

    Here’s another hard fact of life these kids need to learn quick fast and in a hurry. Untill you kids, and I mean kids based on the most recent actions, pay for things yourself, you have no right to your sense of entitlement. Think outside yourselves for just a second. I bet most of you have never had to pay for anything on your own in your whole lives. And if you HAVE, then your recent actions and sense of entitlement are even more monumentally stupid.

    Fountain day is a school sanctioned event, which means that it is, in a very round about way, paid for by taxes. MY taxes, for one AND my alumnus contributions. I’m not at all ok with paying for kids to party on my dollar and I’m even less ok with them saying that it is their right. Until this attitude changes I’m stopping my contributions and I encourage other alumni to do so as well.

    Now some of you on this particular post will say “don’t judge based on the actions of a few”. Sorry, it’s ONE student body to be judged by its collective actions. While the offenders are few in number, their actions reflect on the whole. So until it is clear that students there can party responsibly (which is totally possible) I support the banning of Fountain Day.

  85. Ualbany Student says:

    Name a large public university that is not a “party school”.

  86. Firebrand says:

    What makes me even more angry is that I wrote that previous post sounding like an angy old codger and I’m only in my 30’s.

  87. Dan O'Malley_99 says:

    I’ve read all the posts and I think students should spend more time in math class and less time playing in the fountain…

    #65 “If I had 200 friends here on campus, out of the 18,000 that go here, that’s .011% of the population that I know.” – actually 200/18,000 is 0.011 or 1.1%.

    #84 “Not all the students deserve to be punished for what 0.003% of the student population did (no this isn’t a made up number, a little over 40 students were involved and the undergrads alone at SUNY Albany is over 13,000)” – same here, calculation should be 0.3%.

  88. Lauren says:

    I’ve been reading blog posts and articles about this issue with rabid curiosity. K-Marsh is there any way we could do a “comment-review” in like, 10 years to see if the logic still holds up in their minds?

    The problem I keep coming back to is, Fountain Day hasn’t been an innocent, celebratory event for probably over a decade. It’s an excuse for the vast, vast, majority of students who attend it to get drunk and do crazy stunts. More than likely, by now, sober, well-behaving students avoid it entirely. I don’t think SUNYA needs to use the kegs&eggs debacle as a reason to cancel it, the student body has given them a multitude of reasons over the years. K&E was not a one-time aberration. Drunk & Disorderly students cause damage all over Albany, all year long. Why would the college continue to sponsor an event that has long proven to be a detriment to students’ health, private property, and the City of Albany? The students comments continue to point to the percentage of kids in the Hudson Ave riots while ignoring the fact that thousands of other SUNYA students were binge drinking (most illegally) and being destructive in other apartments/locations in the city.

    Aside from it not being fair (and I swear, in grown-up land, you will be held responsible for associates’ actions all. the. time.) this is a smart move for SUNYA. Fountain Day has become an event devoted to binge drinking and doing stupid stunts in a shallow cement pool. Can you really not see why the decision would be made to cancel? If so, you need to update your schedule for the Fall to include a course in logic & reasoning. Outside of your emotions and desire to party/splash in a beer&urine contaminated pool, it really does make sense. Unless you just don’t care. Which at this point, is better reasoning than most commenters have shown any way.

  89. Ualbany Student says:

    I love the argument, why should we be worried about fairness ever, life isn’t fair “wittle kiddies”! … hahaha, I hope a judge says that to you, as you get a 25-life sentence for a murder that you didn’t commit. :)

  90. Ualbany Student says:

    saw this on fox23 news and I just could NOT agree more!! I have to repost it here!

    “After the Shenanigans of Kegs & Eggs, it is my belief that no more Fountain Day Celebrations should be celebrated, nor should any other celebration on the SUNY campus of Albany, or in the city for SUNY Students for that matter. Following this wonderful line of not thinking, I believe that no Albany Policemen should be allowed to drive. After all, Miller’s arrest proves they are all thoughtless, hypocritical, criminals and drunks. Sounds about right.”

    “The response of these events by a local community that feels almost no outrage over its own problems was been so over the top that I took the first half of CezFox’s post literally. Many have called for much worse without any hint of irony! The way they tell it Albany without SUNY students would be paradise! Corrupt politicians, drunk drivers, gang violence, and economic meltdown can be shrugged off I guess, but parties by students who attend the same school as a small group of drunken criminals is OUTRAGEOUS!!! While there is definitely an unwarranted sense of entitlement about Fountain Day among some students, the bile released against them in the comments section of local media websites is stunning. Every upstate town with a SUNY has some grounds for complaint when it comes to the students- but few have home grown problems quite as awful or persistant as the capital region does. Complaining about kids from other parts of the state is much easier than fixing Albany’s much bigger problems. If it weren’t, more people would be doing the latter instead of the former.”

    YESSSSS, sooooooooo true!!!

  91. tiredofthehorrorstories says:

    Well, Kevin. This is perhaps one of you most perverse, childish and pubesent aproaches to what you call journalism. Even Freud, stated “Sometimes a cigar, is just a cigar”. You, on the otherhand, aparently have the need to read more into a photograph than is needed. I sumise this may be from latently supressed sexual desire. It would probably take years of rigourous and honest pstchoanalyisis to sort through your prudish concepts and beliefs.

    Fo me, I see a photo of 2 people having a good time. One perhaps enjoying the cooling effect of water on a warm spring day in 2004. Prhaps you should have checke the weather forcast on that day prior to posting you latent sexual frustrations. Seriously..go get laid dude. You obviously need it.

    Now as for “Fountian Day”. Well……. Suspending it based on the actions of a few irresponsible people, (not to mention off campus), I can come to no other conclusion that ” The U Albany Administrations actions to suspend a traditons such as fountian say, based on the actions of a few unruely students, in an off campus act is irresponsible and indecent. I suggest, the next time a professor gets arrested for downloading child porn or gets a DWI and is fired as a result of their actions. Then ALL faculty and staff should pay the price and consequence. The same is what is being done with the suspension of fountian day.”

  92. Lauren says:

    #101- as far as associates who download porn/get a DWI, you can bet your arse all faculty/staff/officers are paying the price. No, they’re not going to jail. (And neither are the innocent UA students) But through further computer restrictions and/or stricter standards and making lower BACs a firable offense for everyone. THESE are the kinds of “unfair” consequences that can AND DO happen in the real world.

    My point really is, do you TRULY not understand why the college would cancel what has become a binge drinking holiday & major headache for the administration after the huge PR disaster that was the SPD riots? If it was held, many kids would drink themselves into oblivion on and off-campus. UA didn’t need a reason to cancel fountain day, the students have given them dozens over the years.

  93. Brian says:

    The University has to pay $11,000 in last minute cancellation fees for Fountain Day. I hope you’re glad that’s where your tax money is going. To nothing. Just like flushing 11 grand down the tubes. Budget cuts are happening, but 11K is wasted. Great.

  94. one embarrassed alum says:

    @103 I am sure they are less upset about the money than they would have been if you were allowed to “party on” as the sober saints you all claim to be. “so there, are you happy now??” Sounds so childish. Get angry with your peers that can’t control themselves, not the community they destroy.

  95. seriously? says:

    exhibit A as to why these outraged students should go after their peers instead of the media:

    Student (I give him my utmost respect for the fact that he is a veteran) plans to shackle himself to the fountain to force Glen Beck to apologize and also, to have a sober fountain day:

    Youtube page


    I must admit, he had me at the sacrifices that he made for the country, until I saw him demand fountain day and then saw a youtube page full of him eating glue and tampons. Go after your peers that destroy your reputation.

  96. Firebrand says:

    Thank you 104. One hundred % correct. I WOULD rather cut my losses on this one

    • Not to play into the “your tax dollars” back and forth (because honestly much of it I find to be a load of false equivalence not to mention pedantic), but to not do Fountain Day is still cheaper than to do it (over $40,000).

  97. Firebrand says:

    Understood Kevin. True the tax contribution amounts to relatively nill, but it’s the principle of it all. That being, until they are paying for anything and everything on their own, everything they get is a privaledge not a right.

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