Once a year, the streets of Capitol Hill are flooded with drunk youngsters, wearing rainbow T-shirts and partying the whole day long. Unfortunately, I’m not writing today about Seattle Pride. The event I’m referring to is the (in)famous PlayDay.
Before we go any further, I should offer a quick disclaimer and admit to some personal bias. I am, as some of you may know, a Resident Assistant on campus, and so contractually obligated to hate anything too fun or too rowdy.
But the catalyst for my complaining today is neither the fun and hedonism of PlayDay nor the policy violations involved. (Ok, maybe a little bit. I personally think it’s an incredibly obnoxious and, frankly, dumb idea to have so many students drunkenly wandering around Capitol Hill. And a $50 T-shirt required for entry? Macklemore would be severely disappointed.)
No, the thing about PlayDay that bothers me enough to announce myself in print as a massive killjoy is the “motivation” for the tradition of five or so years. “At PlayDay,” writes the organization on its Facebook page, “we party responsibly because we care. We care about the children, we care about America, and we care about the Whales! So this year, we Play for the Whales. All profits will be donated to support the whales at us.whales.org.”
The whales? Seriously?
First of all, what a waste of a golden opportunity for an “Animal House” joke.
Secondly, if you’re going to drink, just drink. Own up to your copious consumption of alcohol for the sake of consumption rather than trying to brand it as an act of environmental heroism.
But in short, my main reaction to this claim is doubt. I doubt that all profits are really donated, or even that most profits are donated.
To be fair, I don’t actually have any evidence to corroborate these claims against the organizers of PlayDay. (I’m but the Social Media Guy, after all, not an investigative journalist.) But surely I’m not the only one struggling to believe that such intoxicated debauchery can really result in charity.
Furthermore, for an event involving hundreds of people announcing their intoxication across their chest, PlayDay is shrouded in an odd amount of secrecy. Who organizes the event? How did it start? Do they really get sponsors? How on earth has it never collapsed in a spectacular failure of injury and arrests? Nobody’s even sure how long the event has been going on for. How can we really rest assured that the money from the event goes where its organizers claim rather than their pockets?
I know that these are shocking crimes to accuse PlayDay of, but there is a simple solution, an easy way for them to substantiate their charitable claims. PlayDay, release your tax returns. I’m confident that Seattle University students en masse will keep their lips from their red solo cups until the truth has been revealed.
—Sam Schultheis, Digital Media Coordinator