Barstool Sports ‘Foam Party’ promotion violated FSU’s policies

Recently, the Framingham State University campus was utilized as the site for a “scavenger hunt” by Barstool Sports promoting a foam party on Sept. 27 without the permission of campus authorities.

One FSU student interviewed by The Gatepost admitted to using Molly, a popular “club drug,” at the Sept. 27 event, and two others said many people use Molly at Barstool events [see related article].

On Sept. 23, pink hats with the slogan “#Barstool” on them were placed around the FSU campus. Each hat contained tickets to the Sept. 27 foam party, which took place at the Worcester DCU Center.

One of the Barstool Sports Twitter accounts dedicated to promoting this event and Blackout Tours alerted FSU students to their presence on campus.

Photos were then posted on this account to lead students to the locations of the hats and tickets.

The hats were placed at the following locations: the Framingham State University sign at the entrance of campus, behind the athletic center, behind O’Connor Hall, under the directional sign near the Bement shuttle stop, under the FSU sign near May Hall, on the side of the McCarthy Center and under traffic cones behind O’Connor Hall.

Barstool Sports is a website directed at college-aged students. According to a disclaimer on the site, “ contains published rumors, speculation, assumptions as well as factual information.”

In addition to the postings about sports, the site includes humorous videos and images of scantly clad women. The site hosts information about Barstool Blackout Tours as well as foam events. According to the site, the foam events are considered “the world’s largest foam party.”

A foam party is an event held in a nightclub or event hall where people dance or play in foam that is being dumped on them.

Chris Goodnow, a sophomore business major, said, “I think the Barstool events and website are derogatory toward women, but I still like them.”

Chief of Staff and General Counsel Rita Colucci said that all visitors are required to check in with campus police, and any solicitor must receive permission from FSU officials before advertising products or services.

Colucci added that the Barstool Sports campaign was “violating internal university policies.”

The RAM Handbook Solicitation Policy states:

“Individuals wishing to advertise and/or solicit the sale of property, services, or other items … will not be permitted on University property without registering with the Framingham State Police Department and receiving permission from the appropriate authority.”

Referring to the foam party, Colucci said, “This type of event is certainly nothing we want to promote on campus.”

Dean of Students Melinda Stoops said, “I looked at their website. Even though I don’t know much about them [Barstool Sports], the initial impression I have is that their culture is different from the culture at Framingham State.”

However, she added that FSU does not “go after” vendors who have been on Framingham State property unless they are caught in the act. According to Stoops, since FSU is a public campus, no legal action will be taken because the vendors were violating internal FSU policies, not state laws.

Peter Shewchuk, a sophomore engineering major, said, “I don’t think it’s a big deal. Rockstar did the same thing last year and energy drinks can be dangerous as well.”

He added, “Barstool [events are] really fun but kind of expensive. I’ve never even been on their website.”

A student who asked to remain anonymous said, “I think they [Barstool Sports] should be allowed to [drop tickets off].”

Students interviewed by The Gatepost who requested anonymity have described the Barstool events as “crazy,” “trippy,” “sexy,” “similar to raves,” “wild” and “awesome.” Dub-step music is featured at these events as well as flashing neon and strobe lights. At the foam events, foam pours out from the stage and ceiling onto the crowd.

One student, who also asked to remain anonymous said, that Barstool Sports events are extremely sexual. He said, “I witnessed sexual intercourse on the dance floor.”

Another student who asked to remain anonymous said, “A half naked girl was dancing … between me and my friend.”

Erik Haney, a sophomore sociology major, said, “They’re [Barstool Sports] very convincing in portraying that it’s a good time through the website and videos that they post on YouTube. It’s a good event for college students to meet other college students.”

At a Barstool Foam event Haney attended, he said, “One girl was so short that the foam was over her head. She couldn’t even breathe. I had to lift her up above the foam.”

Meghan Kenny, a freshman nutrition major, said, “I just want to know why all of the girls wear neon spandex and backwards hats” at foam parties.

Brenna Hinson, a sophomore communication arts major, said, “I’ve been to seven events – four were Foam and three were Blackout. I love the atmosphere of the rave. I love the music and I love to dance. I also love how hyped the music makes people.”

Adam DeGregorio, an undeclared sophomore, said, “It’s just an excuse for guys to do drugs and creep on girls.”

A male student who asked to remain anonymous said, “Me and my friends sold Ecstasy and Molly at a Barstool Blackout event. We were also on it.  … It isn’t Barstool that makes use happen or promote drugs. It is just people who want to have that type of experience.”

Another student who requested anonymity said Barstool Sports events are known for having a rave atmosphere. He said, “I have seen people do coke and Adderall – it’s not just Molly.”

Judy Grob-Whiting, a licensed independent clinical social worker and program coordinator for the Health and Wellness Center, said, “Molly is generally a club drug, or considered the Ecstasy of this generation.” Grob-Whiting added that this drug “acts as a stimulant, induces feelings of euphoria, bonding and closeness to people.”

There are many side effects from the use of Molly, and it is possible to overdose. Grob-Whiting said, “After the use of Molly, it can create a big crash. It depletes the serotonin levels in the brain so days after, you can become severely depressed.”

According to Grob-Whiting, Molly is MDMA in a powder or crystalline form. She also stated that this “implies greater purity … Ecstasy, re-branded as a gentler, more approachable drug.”

Grob-Whiting reported that there have been occasional uses of Molly at FSU, but it is not yet a widespread problem. However, she said, “I would highly discourage anyone from trying it.”

Stoops had similar input regarding the use of Molly at FSU. “Molly has not yet come up as a major issue on our campus.” Stoops added that the possibility of it becoming a problem is still there, and that is something that FSU would like to avoid.

Stoops said that FSU collects surveys every three years on the use of drugs and alcohol in order to “keep an eye” on what is going on around campus. She also said that FSU keeps track of the police reports that come up.

The Gatepost has contacted Barstool Sports multiple times over the course of three weeks, but no one from the site has been willing to be interviewed.

[Editor’s note: Brenna Hinson is a member of The Gatepost.]