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Originally produced on FBS as a documentary by Kenny “Dumptruck” Burns
A History of the Campus Civil War
A new university president came to power at Union College: a Dr. Abraham Lincoln, J.D. EdD. Dr. Lincoln had written many papers and spoken on a national speaking circuit about the importance of academic responsibility and the dangers of fraternity pledgeship as an “inhumane institution.” He was a staunch supporter of suspending the pledging process and promised to “improve the image of our college” (the old President, Professor Buchanan, said, “Fuck it; I’m going fishing”). Naturally, this concerned many in the fraternal community who considered pledging a foundation of the fraternal way of life.
In response to threats of greater restrictions and the suspension of pledging, SAE seceded from IFC. They called for other fraternities to disaffiliate from the university and form the Confederated Fraternal Alliance (CFA). By late December, Sigma Chi, Lambda Chi, Phi Delta Theta, SigEp and 5 other fraternities had joined the CFA. President Lincoln promised to use “whatever means necessary to protect university property” — i.e. the housing occupied by the fraternities.
The War of Administrative Aggression had begun.
Fraternity men swarmed Sumter Hall (the substance-free dorm) and took the first shots of the war. Perry G. Beauregard led the assault, turning Sumter’s quiet common room into a ferocious day rage as he and his boys blasted through over a dozen ABC liquor boxes.
The Battle of Elephant Walk
Anger swept the Union campus as Geeds and RAs joined with the Administration under President Lincoln to decry the CFA’s invasion of their safe space at Sumter and in numerous smaller battles. They marched to Greek row in a massive protest after a concerned student had called in about the Lambdas parading a line of almost-naked pledges around their lawn. The Union leaders assumed they could break the frats easily, but the battle to follow would prove them wrong.
Fraternity men of all colors streamed out to counter-attack with a terrifying drunken yell (the “Frebel Yell”), pelting the protesters with empty bottles, paddles, and piss-filled water balloons. The Union forces ran screaming back to their dorms. It is here that T.J. Jackson, a Phi Delt, received everlasting fame as the legendary “Stone Frock” Jackson for leading the counter-charge against the Administration while mid-hookup with his girl and then going right back to it without losing his chub.
Two shitfaced Pi Kapps glued a bunch of kegs together to fashion a makeshift submarine (the CFS MerriFrat), which sank as they were trying to disrupt a university swim meet.
The Battle of Fratietam
The single drunkest day of the war.
At the end of rush week, the CFA made their first serious incursion into Administration territory. Led by CFA High Commander Rob “The General” Lee, a SigEp, every current CFA pledge was paraded to the steps of the Student Union itself with two 75 forty/quarter rums duct taped to their hands. Together, they each finished their mixes as fast as possible and simultaneously vomited on the sidewalk while their pledgemasters took defiant day-dumps behind them. The aftermath was a vile sea of puke and excrement that was described as being “unimaginable” and “a great human tragedy” by the custodial staff that were present.
The campus police swept in to strike back, wielding the all-powerful legal mechanism of the combined MIP/open container statute. However, the bumbling incompetence of Chief Officer McClellan met with the tactical superiority of Lee allowed for the majority of the CFA to escape without citations. The Administration victory was slim at best.
Frustrated, Dr. Lincoln removed McClellan and commanded Dean Ulysses S. Grant of Campus Safety to bring the frats under control. As a result of the terrible mess, Dr. Lincoln was also inspired to write the Pledge-mancipation Proclamation, stating that all pledges be now and hereafter freed from pledging, thus preventing the CFA from using them in their war effort any further. In terms of actually granting pledges freedom, this did absolutely nothing. But it had an important effect on chilling any reinforcements the CFA might have gotten from their national chapters, which would now be in violation of an official administrative order.
This would prove a major turning point in the war.
The Battle of Chancellor’s House
CFA forces massed to cover University Chancellor Joe Hooker’s house (in a private neighborhood far from campus) with toilet paper and expired cans of wall paint. They also took time to bleach various insults insinuating the man’s preference for bestiality into his lawn. Though the battle was an astounding CFA victory, the CFA was greatly weakened by the loss of Stone Frock Jackson, who was accidentally splashed with paint by one of his own pledges, causing him to be easily identified by the authorities as the culprit of the vandalism and arrested.
The Battle of Frattysburg
Both the largest battle in the Fraternity Civil War and the largest battle ever fought on the Union campus. The Battle of Frattysburg began when the CFA forcibly closed down several blocks on bar row, overwhelming the bouncers and the ID checkers at three popular campus bars. What ensued was the most ferocious block party ever seen at Union, with CFA members and pledges spilling out of the bars from every angle, in every state of intoxication. General Rob Lee hoped to invade the bars to take the pressure off of the CFA’s own alcohol stores (which were dwindling after so many semesters of war). He also planned to use Bar Row, in spitting distance of the Administration building, as a staging point to negotiate an end to the war.
But Lee’s insistence at striking directly at the Union Administration, which had served the CFA so well in the past, led to disaster.
Invading private businesses drew the wrath of Police Chief George Pickett, who charged the CFA line with fully-armored city police officers and handed out more MIPs and trespassing citations than had ever been handed out in a single battle.
The CFA stragglers stumbled back to their houses, utterly defeated. The CFA’s military performance would never be the same after this battle, but still they continued to fight.
Fire Marshall Sherman’s March to the SAE
Dean Grant, an alcoholic himself, realized that the only way the CFA could ever truly be defeated was to “absolutely destroy their desire and ability to make war.” He tasked Fire Marshall William T. Sherman with ending the war by any means necessary.
Deep within enemy lines, Fire Marshall Sherman marched one-by-one to every house in the CFA, hitting them with so many fire code infractions and citations that the houses were condemned by the city. This appalling brutality would come to be called “scorched earth:” warfare of annihilation, evicting the frats but forfeiting millions of dollars of university property. When he finally reached SAE at the end of Greek row, the CFA had been completely devastated by Union’s overwhelming jurisdictional authority.
With many of the original CFA combatants now graduated or close to graduating and the loss of so many houses, the fraternities’ will to fight was gone.
On April 9, Rob Lee officially surrendered to Dean Grant and the Union Administration in the Appomattox Conference Room in exchange for the release of his transcript for grad school applications. The CFA was reincorporated into a new Interfraternity Council, and pledging officially became banned by an amendment of the IFC constitution..
Check out our original video “The Frat War” below