David Redwine, of the Class of 1970, has a very exciting memory of Meyer library.
My fraternity brother, David Strausz, and I decided we would rappel down the middle atrium of UGLI during finals week. We scoped out the joint beforehand and determined where we could change (a restroom on the top floor), what we would anchor to (a large pillar not far from the edge of the balcony), how much rope we would need, and we planned a diversion using our fraternity brothers in Theta Chi who would march around on the second floor below playing "Here comes the band" on kazoos. We rehearsed in the living room of the fraternity house until everyone became comfortable with their roles. We swore everyone to secrecy and waited for the time. On the appointed night, we made our way to UGLI with our gear in backpacks. On the way, it seemed that there was a real stream of students toward the building. We asked a passing student why it seemed so busy outside. "Oh, a couple of guys are going to rappel down the middle from the 4th floor at 8 o'clock and everyone's going to watch! Haven't you heard?" We thought to ourselves, "Oh, great", but felt compelled to soldier on. We went into the building and it was an absolute zoo. People were standing because there was no place to sit. Student police were everywhere. Everyone was talking in a party mode, and there was no library atmosphere whatsoever. Everyone was looking toward the atrium. There were probably 200 people at least on each floor. We went to the top floor and went into the bathroom and began to put on our belts and ropes. A guy came in to use the facilities and looked at us and said "You're the ones." We nodded and hoped he wouldn't tell. We waited at the door. The kazoo band began to play down below and everyone immediately rushed to the balcony. We ran out and wrapped the rope around the anchor and went toward the balcony. We had to wade our way through the crowd, saying "Excuse me, we have to get over the side." We fought off a student police person and went over the edge, hanging there and dropping our ropes to the floor. We leaned back and put our feet against the wall and dropped down to the 3rd level, then to the second level. At that level, we began weaving our ropes by jumping around each other for a while, then dropped to the ground floor where student police rounded us up and took our names then let us go. There was a lot of noise and applause and I suppose people had difficulty studying. David and I were called before the student court a week or two later but really didn't get into trouble. My homeroom teacher in high school thought I would turn out to be a juvenile delinquent, and she was almost right if our rappeling incident is any evidence. But now I'm a gynecologist, which I guess is sort of the same thing!
Unfortunately, the lightwell is now glassed in, we will not be able to recreate this stunt at the anniversary party on Friday. But there will still be plenty of fun and games. Download the PDF of the agenda here: Download file See you there!