Swamp bogs down in administrationSept. 12, 1996
Nevermind the fact that it happened to be one of the only Greek organized events that actually got the whole campus excited. Forget that it was probably the Pikes' only community service project that made a difference in this world. Ignore the fact my Pike roommate said planning and constructing the event really helped him bond with his pledge brothers and that without the work to burn off the brotherhood's excess energy they would have been reduced to doing something lame -- like trying to control Student Congress.
What makes the decision to cancel the annual Pi Kappa Alpha Swamp Dance so inane is how the decision was made and how the responsible parties refused to supply The Lariat with a reason for its cancellation.
Two people ruined a good time for Baylor. Their names are Dub Oliver, director of student activities, and Martha Lou Scott, dean for student life.
I couldn't get reach Scott, but I did get a hold of Oliver.
I asked him why he and Scott decided to cancel Swamp this year.
'Well, we've had some problems in the past,' Oliver said.
'What type of problems?' I asked.
'It's really not something I want to discuss,' Oliver replied.
'Why not?' I badgered on.
'It's between the organization and the university,' Oliver answered, adding that if the Pikes wanted to discuss the incident with me, a sometimes representative of The Lariat, that it would be fine. He even told me to call Mike Kauphusman, the Pike president.
I called Mike about a billion times. The dude was even less cooperative than Oliver. It didn't matter what the question was; he gave the same answer every time -- 'No comment.'
'Do you even care about not having Swamp this year?'
'Do you hope to hold the dance next year?'
No big deal. His insolence only made me stronger.
Probably one of the Pikes' biggest fans is Garland Emmons, owner of the Army/Navy Surplus Store on Dutton. He said the Pikes and their Swamp dance contributed a lot to his store's fourth-quarter profits.
'It's unbelievable,' Emmons said. 'I've been out there and the party looks just like Vietnam. There's bamboo huts and everything.'
Emmons babbled on about a river running across the dance floor and eventually brought up the fact that he is a Vietnam vet. I figure if a Vietnam vet appreciated the dance, the shindig was definitely P.C.
He added how amazed he was at the fact that not just Pikes, but all types of students came to his store to buy the traditional Swamp attire, Army fatigues.
Not that it was a shocker, but Oliver has never been to Swamp. He wouldn't be able to describe the feel-good vibes that flowed through the kids on the dance floor. How last year it united bitter Bears and beaming, yet mentally deficient, Aggies after the BU/A&M game.
'I'm sure some people will miss it,' Oliver said of the mid-June decision he and Scott sneaked past an empty campus.
I found out from a few Pikes at Buzzard's and Scruff's that they were very disappointed about Oliver and Scott bringing the green and gold hammer down on the all-university celebration.
'It's so stupid,' Pike Drayton McLane Jr. said.
The Pikes told me they think the event was canceled because last year someone who went to the dance had a party afterwards. If that's the reason (remember, Oliver won't talk about it and neither will Kauphusman), then Baylor might as well cancel the football season. I'm sure there will be a 'someone' this year who feels like throwing a party after a football game. Who knows, maybe Oliver and Scott will throw one. I doubt the Pikes, the students or Drayton McLane Jr. will want to attend. Wouldn't want the season to get canceled.
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