The D.R.A.

The D.R.A.

The D.R.A.

One last swig of Irish whisky

Collin Michaels lay prone in the snow, his panting breath melting the glistening crystals before him. The trees around him spun before his eyes, and he felt so small, so helpless, but so … at peace. Any qualms he had vanished as the smell of pine sap and sulfur wafted by his nose. It didn’t even matter if he had doubts — there was nothing he could do now, and his fate was set. He had turned down the ultimatum. There was no surrender. There was no going home. It didn’t matter that there was no victory either. Two years ago, when he accepted Dartmouth’s offer of admission and made far-away Hanover his home, he never thought for a moment that he would die there. But now, lying among the trees of College Park, Michaels knew the gentle hills would be his grave.

At the beginning of 25W, President George Lloyd had announced his decision to close the last three fraternities and five sororities on Dartmouth’s campus. This came at the end of a series of administrative policies aimed at taking down the Greek System through attrition. Michael had stood idly by as Alpha Delta, Psi Upsilon, and even Alpha Chi fell. When President George Lloyd made the declaration, he first thought that he and his brothers would be able to overturn it through administrative means. When this failed, they had tried peaceful demonstration, lying in front of the bulldozers sent to destroy the out-of-code houses. Then, one fateful morning, S&S and HPo had come out in force, a sea of black and tan uniforms. While most of the boys volunteered to relocated to the Choates, 21 of them chose to stand their ground.

They used a clever ruse to raid the S&S armory and refused to leave their house. In the ensuing firefight with the authorities, they were forced to flee, taking to the woods on the outskirts of Hanover. When two of them were killed in the retreat, they decided to retaliated by blowing up the Hanover Inn, a 40 million dollar symbol of Administrative oppression. Now, two days after the explosion, Michaels lay in the snow near Bartlet Tower. He could see the black uniforms of the SWAT team against the snow, and shouts echoed in his ears: they were getting closer. Michaels thought of his brothers, behind him, freezing in the snow. He plucked a small pine sapling from the ground, tucking it into the brim of his hat, and with one last swig of Irish whisky, he rose, rifle in hand, to face his own demise: in that moment, a terrible beauty was born.*

*For this phrase we thank William Butler Yeats.

By Prescott C. McWhorter