It was the last party of the semester during Joel’s senior year of college at West Virginia University. At the time, he was serving as president of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity and the annual “Fiji Island” party was just around the corner. The party was the biggest social Greek event of the year and always drew a large crowd and a wild time.
The fraternity pledges spent an entire two weeks setting up the frat house for the upcoming party to include sand, palm trees, and of course a makeshift pool. The brothers spent two weekends driving up to four hours to the nearest beaches and bay areas to collect enough sand to cover the entire back yard patio. They created palm trees out of scrap materials and covered them in brown and green paint. They made the famous pool, the highlight of the party, out of scrap tires and added blue tarp so there would also include a slide.
On the day of the party, about 400 WVU students came to the event. Everybody was wearing bathing suits and sunglasses, as if they were at an actual beach party. At one point during the party, an extremely intoxicated girl cannon balled into the pool. After she jumped in, the tarp busted. The water along with beer cans, dirt, and branches flowed downhill and into the rival Sigma Chi fraternity house. The water made it into the off-campus house through the cracks and began to cover small corners of the first level.
For a moment the party stopped, and the drunk students were silent. The next thing they heard was screaming coming from the rival house. The boys at the bottom of the hill wondered where the dirty water had initiated. When they realized the muddy water had come from the FIJI house, a few of them came storming up the hill, with beer muscles. Initially the two frats were hostile and angry towards each other. Heroically, Joel offered the Sigma Chi brothers their own keg of Hamm’s beer, and like magic, all the problems were solved. The rest of the party continued, and everybody had a great time.