Memorial Day weekend is often used as an excuse for young people across the nation to descend upon campsites and spend the first long weekend of the season partying it up and taking advantage of the warm weather. For one particular campsite located in Shasta Lake, in Northern California, however, the weekend’s festivities ended with nearly the entire half-mile-radius campground covered in trash, thanks, at least in part, to a fraternity from the University of Oregon.
According to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Phyllis Swanson, around 1,000 students had headed to the Lake Shasta campsite to set up tents for the Memorial Day weekend. In addition, roughly 60 houseboats were parked along the shore of Slaughterhouse Island, where the party was taking place. After the fraternity and sorority members had abandoned the Lake Shasta campsite, Swanson said the amount of trash left behind was unbelievable — worse than she had ever seen in any previous years.
Aside from the roughly 100 tents that had been left, park rangers found both empty and full bottles of alcohol, shoes, clothes, and worse — biohazard materials such as human feces, used condoms, and discarded tampons.
“It was just everywhere,” Swanson said of the feces, according to the Los Angeles Times, adding that photographs posted to a Facebook page following the party “don’t do it justice.”
“It was almost like aliens came down and sucked them out from where they were. Things were just found where they were last seen. I mean shoes were left behind.”
A day after the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity members and other party-goers left the Lake Shasta campsite, Facebook user Jennifer Vick Cox visited the park and posted photos on the social media site of what she found, captioning the pictures, “Here is what a group of University of Oregon students left (they are gone) on Slaughterhouse Island on Lake Shasta. Way to represent your school.”
The photos show mounds of trash, abandoned tents, empty beer bottles, a pair of University of Oregon sandals, and a cooler sporting the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity Greek letters with the words “do you wanna do some blow man?” written on one side. Her album has been shared 66,000 times since Monday afternoon.
After learning of the destruction their Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity members did to the Lake Shasta campsite, a spokesperson for the fraternity issued an apologetic statement promising an investigation into situation, stating that they had suspended all activities for the University of Oregon Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity chapter until the investigation has concluded, reports the Washington Post.
“The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is guided by seven core values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service & Stewardship, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Unfortunately the individuals who committed the destruction at Lake Shasta recently seen on social media did not uphold these values. We are partnering with the University of Oregon, and the International Headquarters of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, to investigate this situation.”
The fraternity spokesperson also said that once they find those responsible for the destruction of the Lake Shasta campsite, they will be held accountable.
Twenty-five forest service employees spent days cleaning up 30 yards of trash around the Lake Shasta campsite. University officials and students offered to help with the clean up, but due to the biohazard materials — the mounds of feces, used condoms, and tampons discarded around the site — officials had to turn them away, but they did appreciate the offer.
Swanson says that there may be some good to come out of the destruction of the Lake Shasta campsite by fraternity members — park officials have been inundated with calls from students wishing to volunteer their time at the park, as well as others wishing to visit with the promise of doing better than the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity members.
[Photo by U.S. Forest Service/AP Images]