"Some Beer Thing..."
I'd like to express my overwhelming glee about Dartmouth's latest plunge into the national media. On Nov. 18, Keggy the Keg was the subject of a debate segment on ESPN's popular daily show "Pardon the Interruption."
Oh, the thrill it would give to me to have the opportunity to present the framers of things such as the Student Life Initiative with the clip from this show for the first time and subsequently to see their faces. I believe that this media attention on Keggy is wonderful news, and that Keggy should continue to inspire positive school spirit around campus.
Among the features of the segment were co-host Mike Wilbon's reference to Keggy as "some stupid beer thing," and questioning why we pay Ivy League tuition to be representing in such a manner, while co-host Tony Kornheiser vigorously defended Keggy as "an appropriate mascot," citing "all they do is drink" three times in a one minute segment. He then went on to rage on Cornell, a school his daughter attends, for not nearly being able to keep up with us. Kornheiser, you are my boy.
The greater issue at hand for me centers around the idea of the image of Dartmouth. It is no secret that the administration would love nothing better than to scrap the "Animal House" mystique, tone down much of the tradition that encompasses the culture of the school, and engage in a reform program and PR pitch that I like to call "penis envy of Harvard." Examples of this are seen in the ridiculous adherence to forcing fraternities to have canned beer instead of our beloved kegs (despite the hypocrisy in terms of recycling), requiring that meetings of over 40 people be registered (even if an organization is larger than that), and in the refusal to acknowledge the Indian as an option that reasonable people could even consider leaving us to ponder things like "The Moose."
Well, this is what you get for selling the soul of the College to the devil. I applaud the creators of Keggy for their ingenuity in finding a mascot that unites the student body. I hope that Keggy becomes the mascot of the college in the minds of students and the mass public in the face of the "official administrative stance." The image of a keg to represent Dartmouth is perfect because of the work hard, play hard mentality of our students. Why should we want to be second-best to Harvard? I think we are better because we can drill out a paper with an intolerable hangover like no one's business. We can play five games of pong and then ace a midterm several hours later. We can enjoy life and still do wonderful academic and extracurricular things.
This is a stereotype that we are lucky to have, not one that we should loathe. It is one of the reasons that drew me to Dartmouth. No matter how hard they try, it would be tough for other Ivies to pitch that they have a raging good time on their campus as a national image. It's assumed that all students at some peer institutions do is study.
At Dartmouth, we're known for both, and this is what separates us above the rest.