03 April 2005

ATO v. The Chickens

I saw something yesterday that reminded me of an event from our Student Government days. I saw a chicken in our back yard, and wondered what the frat boys were up to. Several years ago, a number of chickens were seen running loose in the area around the Tennessee strip. A member of our political family from KAOS was also doing some organizing for PETA, and she discovered the chickens had escaped from a frat party. At this party, it turns out a number of chickens were set loose at the ATO house and many of them were deliberately stomped to death. Kathy was horrified and set out to draw attention to the event.

This is probably the only time I have ever agreed with an action taken by PETA. Usually the group is so myopically focused on animal rights I often wondered if they ever noticed what is happening to human rights. They were countered on campus by SETA, the Society for the Eating of Tasty Animals, and many of our commie-liberal pinkos enjoyed the joke.

The story got into the Flambeau, but early the next morning most of the papers had been stolen before anyone could see them. In my research, I have discovered that this a trick that goes back to the '70's, at least. When ATO was confronted with this, they claimed the papers were stolen by other people to make them look bad. Of course, after the Flambeau incident, this only called more attention to the matter. Inevitably dubbed Chickengate, the ATO's defended themselves by denying everything, then by claming that they were actually scared by the chickens and accidentally trampled them to get out of their way. Kathy received some threatening messages on her voice mail, which Rich made a tape of and played at the Senate meeting. The response was all too typical, a wall of blank faces saying "Yes, but what does this have to do with us?"

The student body president was in ATO (his brother was posing in one the Flambeau pictures), and I heard Pres. D'Alemberte used to be an ATO, so I think any discipline that may have occurred was minimal. Despite appearances, I am not anti-frat. As individuals they can be reasonable, and I number more than a few as friends. Something happens, however, when they drink in a group. I have witnessed so much stupidity and willful destruction on their part, it's hard not to be biased.

We threw a lot of parties at KAOS, but we had established a responsible reputation, and were very rarely visited by the cops. If they happened to see a roaring fire on our front lawn, they would stop by to get warm and have a chat. Since we moved out of KAOS and frat boys moved in, the house is now on the FSUPD's bad list again.

Whatever happened to the ATO house? Sometime afterwards one of the members tipped over a candle and started a fire. Instead of calling the fire department, he tried to deal with it himself, and the fire got out of control. By the time the fire department arrived, the firemen were constantly harassed and criticized by frat members for not working fast enough. Careless accident or the ghastly revenge of revenant chickens? You be the judge.

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