We're not entirely sure what happened at the University of Delaware last night, other than the fact that the college party-documentary YouTube channel I'm Shmacked came to Newark on a Monday night and caused an entire college campus to go berzerk. YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram have exploded with pictures and videos of the incident, many of which can be seen right here. According to reports, UDPD got involved along with state and city riot police and a car was apparently burned. The resounding question for those of us far away from the college campus hivemind/mob mentality is "why?"
Something similar happened just north of UdDl at West Chester University when I'm Shmacked showed up in the spring. Douchebag students flipped and destroyed a student's car that was a gift from his dad who passed away from cancer.
Maybe UDel, just south of Philadelphia, was just that amped up on an Eagles Monday Night Football victory. Maybe, since it's still early in the semester, there just wasn't anything better to do.
But simply, all of this was for a YouTube Channel.
All these college students. Punchdrunk on Blue Hen school spirit. Rioting. On a Monday night. For a YouTube channel.
I talked to I'm Shmacked's founder, Yofray, on the phone this afternoon. He said that big schools know how to stay composed when I'm Shmacked shows up. Small schools like UDel, not so much. They tend to lose their shit. In other words, it's classic little brother syndrome.
I talked to another representative from I'm Shmacked. He was adamant that this was an act perpetuated by the University of Delaware, not the guys behind I'm Shmacked. A statement will be issued shortly:
If you're not familiar with I'm Shmacked, it's a YouTube channel with 41,000-some subscribers and a rabid college fanbase that documents a school's party culture. It's been the subject of New York Times profiles and ABC Nightline trend stories. Here at BroBible, we posted their first videos -- of Temple University and Syracuse -- in September 2011. Since then, our editorial staff has watched their brand explode with popularity amongst college students. Some are now making decisions on where to go to school based on the projections of college life dispalyed in the videos.
Not to editorialize, but getting heavily involved in a riot is never very wise. It seems to happen with alarming frequency these days, but just look at the public PR black-eyes Penn State, JMU, WVU, the University of Dayton, and the University of Albany have suffered because of their students acting like morons in the thrill of the moment. On a personal level, the possibility for arrest, injury, and serious legal repercussions that stay on your record is very real.
Yet the current generation of college students is one that came of age with YouTube, idolizing I'm Shmacked's realistic POV projection of college party college across America. College kids gobble it up, too, because everyone wants to see how "hard" their school goes compared to other schools when it comes to partying. The channel's guerilla tactics and massive social media presence just heightens I'm Shmacked's mystique. Run by two college-age students, they pop up on college campuses for big, marquee events with little warning. So when I'm Shmacked -- who's never done the UDel thing before -- Tweeted the following out:
That type of enthusastic response is all it took to get them to head to Delaware:
En route to Delaware.— I'm Shmacked (@ImShmacked) September 10, 2013
Social media exploded. At this point, things seem to have escalated quickly. This was the scene at the University of Delaware later in the evening:
The only goal for the week is to make sure University of Delaware video is sick... That is my main priority.— I'm Shmacked (@ImShmacked) September 10, 2013
Videos of mostly-white, probably privileged college kids running wild through the streets of Newark started popping up on YouTube:
"Driving down Main Street in Newark, DE after the breakout of a riot from an I'm Shmacked party."
Later, a car was reportedly set on fire:
Except it was a hoax, perpetuated by social media. And more videos:
p> Law enforcement moved in:
According to reports, Newark Police were helped by 75 additional officers from University of Delaware Police, New Castle County Police, and the Delaware State Police around 11:30 p.m. Here's the official report:
Responding officers observed over a thousand people in the area and a DJ that was set up in the backyard of the house. Multiple subjects were urinating in public and trespassing through other yards in the area. The residents of the house were arrested for hosting a disorderly premise.
The comparisons to Project X were almost instantaneous. There were rumors the guys from I'm Shmacked were in jail.
Tweeting from jail. Next time take my phone.— I'm Shmacked (@ImShmacked) September 10, 2013
The tweet, allegedly from a jail in Delaware, was a hoax, blasted out to add fuel to the flames of the Shmacked mystique.
According to a tipster writing to BroBible:
yofray was also arrested last night and is awaiting bail. Once he gets out there will be another round of Im Shmacked tonight that is considered the main event. There is heightened police activity all throughout newark right now and county, city, state, and UDPD are hanging around campus in case it turns into a riot again. Also there is a rumor a cop car was flipped last night
Amusingly enough, the report that Yofray was there was not true at all, as was the report about being in jail. It illustrated the "banana-phone" syndrome happening at UDel in the wake of the riot. I talked to Yofray on the phone from Miami, Florida, where he was at the time. His business partner was at UDel, but wasn't in jail.
I'm Shmacked's other founder, Arya Toufania, discussed the event to the New York Daily News:
When police arrived, the parties that were described at first as centralized in one area quickly disbanded, according to the student who didn't wish to be named.
But according to Toufania, whose cameraman he said was arrested for disorderly conduct only minutes after arriving, this so-called disturbance by police only amplified the event's chaos. "The real instigators of the riot were the police," he told the Daily News. "They could have shut the party down, cornered it off, it just seemed as if they were, like, monitoring the riot."
According to Toufania, before he and his crews arrived around 11:20 p.m., the riot was already underway and near completion. Once police joined, however, he claims they dangerously spread the students from their centralized location and into the streets.
"We're not here to cause trouble," he argued of his production crew that uses a tour bus to travel from campus to campus. "A lot of the students, the less mature ones, think it's okay to flip cars over and break things, and those actions get attributed to my company."
The University of Delaware's student newspaper has more updates, including that it started at the school's Rugby House:
According to the I’m Shmacked and the videographer’s Twitter accounts, the founder was jailed while the videographer left the state temporarily. On his Twitter account, the videographer, Arya Toufani, said he will be staying in Newark Tuesday night and another individual will do some more filming on campus. Newark Police have just announced the names of the two students who owned the property. Anthony Iadisernia and Evan Touzzoli were arrested for having a disorderly premise, according to a press release. “I’m Shmacked” cameraman Marcus Hyde was also arrested without incident.
No cars were reported on fire, as pictured on social media. Several cars were however damaged as well as street signs and trash cans. Although no accidents are expected tonight, extra police officers will be on duty.
On Twitter, UDel students, meanwhile, seem rather proud of their behavior, boasting:
UD has been around since 1743 and its safe to say that last night will go down in our history as the most ratchet ever. #UDontEvenKnow— UDontevenknow (@UDont_even_know) September 10, 2013
It's hard to believe that Delaware's students won't face repercussions from the school's administration. In fact, it's being talked about right now:
Update: And now it's all over the news.