The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Beak Week catastrophe shakes up students and alumni alike

2 min read
Mary Washington students, brothers and sisters, my fellow Eagles: only the most serious of issues is at hand today. This semester demanded more of me than articles in terms of my duties as a student, a Resident Assistant, chairman of the College Republicans, and a member of the Judicial Review Board, but I feel compelled to address a grievous issue: the cancellation of Beak Week.



In the past this treasured Mary Washington tradition has been marked by a week of school spirit activities ranging from silent raves in the Underground to concerts, to bonfires on Jefferson Square.

However, this year, no events took place, and my fellow students were deprived of an opportunity to publicly spread their wings, perform the Eagle Swoop, and show their spirit as students of this esteemed public liberal arts institution.

This injustice not only denied seniors their last Beak Week, and freshman of their first, it left our esteemed alumni heartbroken. On Facebook, graduate Andrew Hogan, 2012’s Mr. UMW and a champion of LipSync expressed his bereavement.

“I am confused and hurt, lost and heartbroken, absolutely inconsolable. BEAK WEEK was the ONE week of the year that meant something to every single student at UMW, the one week it was okay to fly with everything hanging out, letting the wind stroke your spirit as it paralyzed passers-by. I feel like I’ve lost a best friend, but I also know that NO ONE can take BEAK WEEK away from me.”

Indeed, no one can stop the Spirit; it never ends. Hogan’s status gained 55 likes in less than 12 hours, including former Judicial Review Board president Elizabeth Brennan.

By failing to plan any events, the Student Government Association departed from the 2013-14 Student Handbook, which states on page six that Beak Week will be held the week after Spring Break. This cancellation was made without the consent of the student body.

I believe I interpret the will of the student body and of our alumni when I assert that something needs to be done to repair the bond between the SGA, its constituents and our dear alumni. I call upon the Executive Cabinet to reinstate Beak Week and put it on as soon as possible. Furthermore, the Student Senate should pass a declaration that Beak Week will never be cancelled again and that it should be enshrined into the student calendar from now until the end of time.

It is my expressed hope that 2014 will mark the year of total spiritual mobilization, where all Eagles came together to save Beak Week and to indefatigably fight for its preservation.


Max Reinhardt

Founder and President of the Emergency Committee for the Salvation of Beak Week


11 thoughts on “Beak Week catastrophe shakes up students and alumni alike

  1. The title of this article says, “..students and alumnus alike” yet you ONLY have a quote from an alumnus. Where is the representation of current students? Also, if there is such dire concern as to why this event was cancelled it would be more productive to talk to a member of SGA or perhaps the president of SGA to find out why this decision was made instead of writing an article that simply requests a repair of “the bond between the SGA, its constituents and our dear alumni”.

  2. Like most students at UMW who read reputable newspapers, I am concerned with the quality of this article and the methods of journalistic investigation that you’re attempting to employ. Your main source is a singular comment made on one Facebook page by an alumnus. Your facts are incorrect: Beak Week is not a decades-long tradition–it was only revived two years ago. During my fours years here at UMW there has never been a bonfire during the week’s events and only half of the student body even remembers what the Eagle Swoop actually is. You fail to interview a singular student currently enrolled at UMW to show perspective of what the current sentiments on Beak Week are. And most importantly, despite your criticisms of SGA’s actions, you did not reach out to SGA to find out what exactly happened to Beak Week this year.

    I’d recommend that you do thorough research and follow the proper channels before publishing an opinion article with very little basis in fact. Also, if you are so concerned with the way things are going with SGA, perhaps you should involve yourself in student government, take responsibility, and plan Beak Week yourself.

  3. 1) The statuses received about 75 unique likes (some people liked every status, they were only counted once), many of which are current UMW students.
    2) One current student was bold enough to share the Beak Week tribute video and create #bringbackbeakweek.
    3) Max Reinhardt himself is a current Mary Washington student. I think that this entire article can count as an interview of a student currently enrolled at UMW.
    4) Andrew offered to help the SGA in this endeavor: “SGA in the future, rather than cancel a beloved tradition, if you need me to facilitate BEAK WEEK on your behalf, I am available 24/7/365 to discuss this. My number is 410812662.” He was not taken up on this offer, I believe this is what Max is referring to when he speaks of repairing bonds.
    5) This is a viewpoints article, it does not require facts.
    6) I do not see it stated anywhere that is is a decades long tradition, in fact it is stated several times that Beak Week started in 2012. However, a spring spirit week is required by the student handbook-therefore, a spring spirit week is a tradition.
    6) You state that only half of the student body knows what the Eagle Swoop is. You don’t see this as an issue?? Beak Week is about creating school spirit, not allowing it to slowly die.
    7) School spirit is something everyone is entitled to feel and share, and one of the main complaints about UMW is that it does not have enough school spirit. For some people, cheering at a basketball game is enough. For others, it is not. I do not think it is a huge hurdle to provide students with an alternative platform to express their school spirit.
    8) Jesus, thank you for your support!
    9) I hope one day SGA will find its sense of humor-look how much attention you all got! And if you have seen the tribute video, you know that Andrew isn’t taking himself too seriously. It is all in the fun and spirit of Beak Week.

  4. Personally as an alumni and former member of the SGA, I am pretty sure this story is missing a few points of view. I mean, there could be a reason the SGA didn’t do Beak Week this year. It’s an endeavor that is as large as homecoming and cost nearly as much. Perhaps university finances were tight? Perhaps the SGA was busy focusing on issues like tuition reform… things that will affect students likelihood of graduating. Personally it’s embarrassing that this “award winning” newspaper didn’t even bother to interview the SGA or even a member of Class Council or Giant Productions who always have a hand in planning beak week.

    Also, I would challenge the author to do research the next time they decide to bash one of their only representatives in the school. Complaining that they didn’t get free stuff this year seems rather shallow when the SGA has done a few great thing this year. Personally as a family of veterans, I loved that they led the campaign to write letters to the troops. As an alumni I loved that they are doing Good Neighbor Day. I wonder if the author enjoyed tailgating this year that the SGA had been working on since last year. Perhaps what this author does not realize is that while on a Saturday morning while you’re devouring brunch the SGA President is working to ease the burden college has on families and extend scholarships to more students. On friday while you’re partying and celebrating, the President of ARH is finding new ways to make living on campus easier, while the AAC Chair is busy ensuring students voices are heard in that reallocation process.

    Sure I’m a little biased about this issue a former SGA President, but I think that Stephanie and her cabinet deserve the benefit of the doubt on this one. Next time I suggest ask, participate then report… because the story might become more clear.

    Anyway, go Eagles 🙂

  5. This article is a major cause for concern. The Bullet continuously publishes articles without research and with lack of fair and proper journalism. This article reflects the same issues with news agency across the country. Writing based off of emotion and not fact leads readers to act on emotion and not due process. Why write an article without any research? Are you just trying to make a name for yourself and gain popularity with anger? Please editors of this horrible newspaper do a better job next time. I would be all for getting rid of this publication and starting new. Scrap everyone from top to bottom. This is a disgrace not only to journalism itself, but also to our beloved school.

  6. This is the definition of passive aggressive. If you actually have some sort of passionate complaint I suggest ACTUALLY speaking to members of SGA and Senate to voice those complaints… Really I read this and understand why society is fearful of the “lazy milennials”; Facebook is not a source. Mr. UMW is not a credential. Likes don’t validate anything. And that’s ignoring the subject of all this. I can’t believe this was published.

  7. HAHAHAHAH AWESOME JOB MAX. This comment section alone proves how successful you and Andrew were. We’ve got current SGA members on here butthurt and defensive, a former SGA president spinning tales about extending scholarships to students (CLASSIC), disgruntled students requesting The Bullet be scrapped, outcries for factual viewpoints articles (LOL THERE’S AN OXYMORON), and not ONE person seeing the humor in all of this. Best troll I’ve seen all year. Everyone played their part perfectly.

    I hope one day SGA stops taking themselves so seriously. Why try for a productive dialogue when it’s so much more fun to ignite a fire about a non-issue and watch the army rise up and defend it? Very Mary.

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