Keggy the Keg pumped for weekend

by Zach Swiss | 10/21/05 5:00am

Best known on campus as Dartmouth's unofficial mascot, Keggy the Keg is truly much more. Behind the green stockings, bulging eyes and silver paint lies a true Dartmouth role-model.

Few on campus have more school spirit than Keggy the Keg, who is portrayed by Andrew Argeski '06.

"It's good to raise support for the teams that are playing and to get people to come to the games," he said.

Argeski, who has portrayed Keggy since his induction as the unofficial mascot in 2003, will once again don the Keggy costume this year. Argeski missed last fall's Homecoming weekend due to an off-campus environmental studies Foreign Study Program.

"It'll be a good chance to get back and meet the '09s," Argeski said, clearly excited to be putting on the Keggy costume again. Last fall, Jeff Wagner '06 took Argeski's place during Homecoming weekend.

Keggy's presence at Dartmouth is not without controversy. Many consider such a blatant reference to alcohol consumption at Dartmouth to be lewd and inappropriate for college-sponsored events.

"It's not racist, it's not political, it's not sexist," Argeski said, defending his alter-ego.

Keggy's life has not been without danger. In 2003, the Keggy costume was kidnapped from its lodging in the Sigma Nu fraternity library. Though it was returned within a week, the costume suffered minor damage.

"It was just a joke," Argeski said, referring to the kidnapping incident. "I have a keg escort now," he added jokingly.

The unofficial mascot is the brainchild of Nic Duquette '04 and Chris Plehal '04, two writers for the Jack-o-Lantern, a Dartmouth humor magazine. In response to student dissatisfaction with the intangible "Big Green" mascot, Student Assembly led a search for a new one. The early front-runner to become the new mascot, the moose, showed little favor with students, at which point Duquette and Plehal proposed their "Keggy the Keg" idea.

In his two-year existence, Keggy became a huge success, both inside and outside the Dartmouth community. The giant beer container has been featured on ESPN and in the pages of Playboy Magazine.

"It was interesting," Argeski said of the flood of publicity that Keggy has received.

Keggy's immense popularity is still somewhat shocking to Argeski.

"It was supposed to be a joke originally," he said. "It wasn't supposed to be taken seriously but it just took off on its own. [Keggy] was supposed to push the Administration to come up with something better and it didn't. It's become its own entity now."

The campus celebrity's popularity continues to rise. On theFacebook.com Keggy is listed as having 1063 friends, and that number will only increase after his appearance this weekend.

Whether Keggy will continue to provide joy to future generations is still unclear.

"We think we're going to continue it, but it's still undecided," Argeski said, referring to Duquette and Plehal. For now, though, Argeski is just trying to enjoy what will be his last year as Keggy, before graduation arrives.

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