Multiple altitude-related deaths reported on boys’ Bid Day


Humor Columnist Alisha Kohli analyzes some of the tragedies from Boys’ Bid Day.

Abby Sacks | Cavalier Daily

CHARLOTTESVILLE–—This past Sunday, the Charlottesville Police Department received reports of several deaths that occurred on and around Grounds throughout the day. According to multiple tweets, as well as the harrowing sounds of frat bros screaming “OH S—T,” those who perished were new fraternity pledges from the University who died of injuries sustained from being launched hundreds of feet into the air.

This practice is a longstanding tradition in fraternal organizations. When rushees receive bids, fraternity members dress up — worn-out khaki pants and all — and drunkenly pilgrimage to the Greek life hopefuls’ places of residence to collectively ambush them. It is here that the brothers feel the need to celebrate this momentous occasion by transforming into a human trampoline for their potential new members to continuously rebound off of.

While all the fatalities stemmed from this practice, the official causes of each death vary significantly. A coroner’s report revealed that one first-year who had just received a bid passed away as a result of extreme altitude sickness after reaching a record-breaking 1500 feet above sea level. Once he returned to the ground, the pledge reportedly appeared to exhibit symptoms such as lightheadedness and vomiting.

“It was crazy,” said witness and fellow first-year pledge Chad White after successfully shotgunning his seventh consecutive Busch Lite — a personal best. “We all just assumed it was nothing serious, something he could just walk off, you know, like alcohol poisoning.”

Another pledge is not yet confirmed to have actually died, but was reported missing after disappearing while in midair. According to multiple eyewitnesses, the second-year was ascending for about five seconds when, around the 500 feet mark, an eagle suddenly swooped in, grabbed him by its talons, and quickly flew out of sight. It is believed that the bird may have mistook the young man for prey.

“It’s definitely possible,” said world-renowned ornithologist Robin Hawking. “Given how scrawny that boy was, it’s no surprise that the eagle thought he was some kind of malnourished, long-limbed mammal — which, technically, he was. However, I’m still stumped as to how the bird could have seen the dingy, beer-soaked New Balances on the boy’s feet and still wanted to take him back to the nest as its dinner.”

While this customary procedure of chucking potential new brothers into the air has occurred annually for decades, it has never led to outcomes as fatal as those exhibited on this year’s Bid Day. It is believed that this rise in death rates is due to an increased competition among fraternities. Each fraternity had been vying for a top-tier position, and somehow that correlated with seeing which group of aggressive white men — and their token person of color, of course —  could pull off the most extreme, mind-blowing pledge throw of all-time.

One fraternity by the name of Sigma went as far as to launch two of their new pledges simultaneously. Those who witnessed the event claimed that at first, it was entertaining — the boys struck amusing poses and even did a flip or two. However, the fun did not last, as the potential brothers suddenly collided in midair while attempting to reenact the classic “I’m flying” scene from “Titanic.” Both of them died immediately on impact.

The competition, however, ended up getting the best of some people. One Kappa Epsilon Gamma brother named Brad Blanc, inspired by the Super Bowl that was to take place later that evening, took it upon himself to grab the nearest pledge and throw him as far as he could, not unlike a Hail Mary pass. Blanc proved that he could have a possible future in the NFL as his toss was so powerful that the first-year pledge actually broke through Earth’s atmosphere. A representative from NASA later spoke out, claiming that the young man had collided with one of the agency’s space shuttles and perished instantly.

The next day, the Inter-Fraternity Council at the University released a statement addressing the numerous fatalities. “We are shocked and saddened by the events that transpired on Bid Day,” it read. “In no way do we condone the senseless acts of the several fraternities who engaged in such reckless behavior. We hope that this will all blow over quickly, so we as fraternities can return to not being held accountable for our actions nor facing any lasting consequences as a result.”

A vigil for those who lost their lives will be held next Friday at Mad Bowl. While it is open to the public, it has been rumored that preference will be given to “hot chicks.” In lieu of flowers, the fraternities have asked that attendees donate packs of red solo cups or other party-related items, claiming “it’s what the pledges would have wanted.”

Alisha Kohli is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

related stories