UMass white trash jousting is an Amherst epidemic

A student was unconscious for two minutes

My third week at UMass Amherst, I finally made it to the weekly darty hosted off campus. Hundreds of students were there on that sunny Saturday afternoon, chilling, drinking, listening to music, and most bizarrely, playing a game named after poultry.

Almost immediately after I arrived on the scene, a hoard of drunk college kids looking to stir the pot with began playing a game called "chicken fighting."

If you're not aware, a chicken fight is a popular pool game in which two people, sitting on the shoulders of two other people, fight until one falls off the other.

On land, I would describe it in all of its simplicity as white trash jousting. At first, I found the game pretty hilarious. Then I saw how dangerous it really is.

Two guys hoisted themselves up on their friends' shoulders and just started fighting until one fell off. They were both laughing, so everyone else did and then went back to whatever they were doing.

Then suddenly, an angry red-headed girl climbed on top of someone's shoulders, begging for someone in the crowd to fight her. Eventually, she got her fight.

These next fights seemed chillingly different to the first one I had witnessed, as the girls intentions were a lot more menacing and genuinely aggressive. They were throwing each other around as if they had complete disregard for the safety of themselves or anyone else there. The same red-head flashed the crowd at least six times as she fell on her head time and again and was wearing a crop top with no bra. She just kept repeating "Who's next?"

When I asked bystanders what they thought of the white trash jousting, I got various responses.

"I honestly think it's pretty trashy," a freshman girl told me. "Can't hate on the tradition though."

"These fights are a power trip for the people up there and it's so entertaining, but so dangerous," another freshman said.

"I guess they're fun to watch when you're not actually in the fight but there's a lot of peer pressure that goes along with it." said a male UMass junior.

I decided to let that experience go, until this past weekend someone fell unconscious after participating in one of these fights. He wasn't breathing, and dozens of people rushed to his side, attempting to give him CPR. When he woke up about two minutes later, people had the sense to stop the fights that day, but I can't say the same for in the future.

The problem with these fights is that they have become the main focus of day parties at the Zoo. Chicken fights have become synonymous with UMass darties. I've even spoken to people who visit UMass JUST to see these fights that are so famously portrayed all over Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram accounts like @totalfratmove, yet no one talks about how badly chicken fights can turn out.

It might be fun, but is it worth it?

UMass Amherst