EUGENE, Ore. (CBS SF) — A group of students from the University of Oregon on an outing to Lake Shasta over the weekend are coming under fire for the enormous quantity of trash left behind.
Images of the trash, which includes discarded tents, clothes, coolers and other debris, was shared on social media and the viral response has prompted the university and one of its fraternities to launch an investigation.
West coast college students have visited Lake Shasta for years as part of an annual tradition, according to the university – including from University of Oregon fraternities and sororities.
“But this is the first time when I talked to the Forest Service that they ever had an event that was left in such a disarray and that was really why they contacted us and they were so concerned,” Robin Holmes, U. of Oregon Vice President of Student Life told KVAL-TV.
Evan Anderson, the university’s inter-fraternity council president, told KVAL-TV the hope is to turn the incident into something positive. “One opportunity we see is we’re possibly going to send a crew down to be a cleanup crew as well as other community service projects in the Shasta area as well as donating and fundraising for the Wildlife Nature Reserve there,” Anderson said.
Lake Shasta is part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
One of the photos shared on social media showed the symbols for Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. The organization promptly prohibited its UO chapter from holding any social events until the trash was collected and restitution made.
The fraternity also released the following statement:
The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is guided by seven core values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service & Stewardship, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. Unfortunately the individuals who committed the destruction to Mt. Shasta National Park recently seen on social media did not uphold these values. We are partnering with the University of Oregon, and the International Headquarters of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, to investigate this situation. We will, in no uncertain terms, hold the individuals who did this accountable.
Though it is not known who all was involved at this time, we find this situaation to be absolutely unacceptable. On behalf of any of our members involved, the UO Zeta Omicron Zeta Chapter would like to extend our deepest apologies for any destruction of Lake Shasta resort and the surrounding environment. Our Chapter has reached out to the United States Forest Service to arrange for our members to help in the clean-up of the environment.
Also, on behalf of any of our members involved, we apologize to the entire Fraternity and Sorority Life Community at the UO and our university. The actions in which these individuals participated do not reflect our Fraternity’s values, nor do they reflect the values of our community here at the UO.
Our Chapter leadership has been in contact with the UO and our Fraternity’s international headquarters. Until the investigation into this matter is complete, and all disciplinary actions have been implemented, effective immediately there will be no Chapter activities of any kind. We are taking this seriously and we are working to come through this showing our alumni, our university, and our community exactly what it means to be a Lambda Chi Alpha Brother.
The Men of Lambda Chi Alpha, Zeta Omicron Zeta Chapter