Last year and in years before, anyone over the age of 21 was able to waltz right up to the big ole Chestnut dude working the gate, flash their 21+ ID and enter the exclusive big boy zone of Mayfest. It was kind of like the VIP of the hottest party of the year. They would slap a wristband on you with two removable tabs, each redeemable for a free beer. 

Pretty good deal, right? 

This year the wristbands got an upgrade—they now have three tabs. It’s just that they cost fucking money. Yes, that’s right, Kent is demanding not one, not two, but three of your hard-earned shekels for admission into the beer zone. Now I understand that things cost money and that somebody has to pay the bill at the end of the day; I learned after my last bout with the law. However! I’m curious as to just how much Kent and his boys are making by charging us. Spoiler: it’s kind of a lot.


I enlisted help from some fellows whose stars shine a little brighter than my own in the numbers department to figure this out. Bear in mind that the numbers used here are based on a series of vague approximations. I’m not a decimals guy—I think they’re bad luck. So I’m working in whole number guesstimates here. 

There were like, 15,252 undergrads here at SU in the fall. If you subtract those who’ve flunked out, those who’ve taken a leave for some soul searching and the members of the Theta Tau Fraternity, you probably get a current number that’s around 15,200. That means there’s something around 3,800 kids in each graduating class. 5th years are seniors here by the way. Also I didn’t include grad students because they’re grad students.

Barring outliers, just about every kid in the senior class is over the age of 21. But what about the juniors? That requires a little bit of math. Luckily for us, birthdays are distributed rather evenly across all 365 days of the year. The cutoff date for being able to purchase a wristband is April 27th, the day of Mayfest. April 27th is the 117th day of the calendar year, meaning that if you were born in 1997 you would have about a 117/365 chance of being able to buy a Mayfest wristband. But what about those kids with weird parents who held them back? Those kids who were born in September, October, November or December of 1996. Those months make up an additional 122 days which we’ll add to our 117. Now we’ve arrived at a 239/365 chance of a junior at SU being able to buy a Mayfest wristband. So in addition to the 3,800 or so seniors that can purchase, we’ve got another 2,488 juniors that can as well. 

What does this tell us? That if every kid that can buy a wristband does buy a wristband (and they wont but let’s pretend they will) the school is banking a fat $11,264

That’s a lot of green, Kent. 

Now we have to do some subtraction. By my estimation there were about 12 people working the place in Schine where wristbands were for sale. It was a mixture of some student employees, some real adult employees and then some guys that I’m guessing were Chestnut security contractors. The dude who put my wristband on me did not react well to me asking him how much he makes, so I’m going to have to go with an educated guess here. 

If you take the pittance they pay the students and average it with the slightly better pittance they probably pay the other people, I’m guessing the price per employee per hour is like, I dunno, $16? Multiply that by 12 and you get 192. Multiply 192 by the 15.5 hours that they’re actually selling these things for and you get $2,972. Congrats Kent, that’s a great margin right there. So Kent and the boys have up to $8,292 buckaroonies to fuck around with that they didn’t have before, which is cool for them I guess. 

Now I’m interested in the cost of beer, but that’s difficult for me to make an educated guess on. Our boy Dave Sargalski shot us a sweet lil listserve this afternoon detailing the offerings and they sound suspiciously like dome concessions. Actually, they sound exactly like Dome concessions, because they are Dome concessions. This is isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly means that the cost per drink to SU is pretty low, likely under a dollar a drink. 

Listen, I don’t have a serious problem with being charged a few bucks for my Mayfest beer, but I have to wonder what my student fee is going to at this point. Big brother Kent is willing to shell out for stupid shit like the print edition of 20 Watts, but he wont even toss me a brew? What do you even need that extra money for, Kent? Why are things that used to be free no longer free? Why is tuition going up? How does a Dyson Airblade work? ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!!!