Yesterday evening, Facebook user Jennifer Vick Cox posted a series of photos implicating University of Oregon students and the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter of a littering issue at Shasta Lake’s Slaughterhouse Island in Northern California this past weekend.
“The person who took those photos isn’t at liberty to make an official statement, but wanted them published and I agreed after viewing them,” said Cox in an email to the Emerald. “They are disgusting and a horrible representation of the University of Oregon.”
Some photos show UO paraphernalia next to water and alcohol bottles, tents, clothing, beer cans and plastic chairs. Another shows the phrase: “Do you wanna do some blow man?” written across a Lambda Chi Alpha cooler.
“Their attitude is we’ll pick it up later,” said Shasta Boating Safety Unit’s Sgt. Rob Sandbloom. “If you’re at your mom’s house are you just going to throw a [beer] can down and pee on her couch and say you’ll clean it up later? No, you wouldn’t. And they say they wouldn’t, so don’t do it here.”
But it’s unclear whether all of the littering can be attributed solely to UO students. Many students from universities across the Northwest and California make the annual trip, rent houseboats and camp in the area. There is no age requirement to go on these trips. Alcohol and drugs tend to be involved.
Phyllis Swanson, a public information officer with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, explained it will cost at least $10,000 to clean up the site and a “tremendous strain on their resources” in an interview with KRCR News.
“We are aware of those photos are we are doing an investigation,” said Tad Lichtenauer, director of communications for Lambda Chi Alpha national headquarters. “[What happened] is not an appropriate way to display our letters… We have clear standards and that clearly isn’t meeting them.”
UO Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Justin Shukas has not returned calls for comment, but Lichtenauer said that there won’t be disciplinary action against the chapter until the investigation is completed.
As of 4:15 p.m. PST, Cox’s post has received over 12,000 shares on Facebook. Around 3 p.m. PST, ASUO president Helena Schlegel posted the following statement to the student government Facebook page:
Here are some Twitter reactions about this incident:
— Travis (@CliveBixby13) May 23, 2016
— Alex Anderson (@AAnderson93) May 23, 2016
Didn't know it was possible for Shasta to get more nasty, but I think UO proved me wrong….
— Isaac M Tully (@iMacTully) May 23, 2016
Follow Kira Hoffelmeyer on Twitter @kirahoffy.