Barstool Flyers-led ‘Lowesfest’ Draws Many Students, Increased Police Presence
Profanity is used in videos embedded in this article
Update 10/15: The student whose car windshield was broken during “Lowesfest” reached out to us and said she did raise enough money to fix the windshield. Barstool Flyers shared both the student’s GoFundMe page and Venmo; we were only aware of the GoFundMe Page, which suggested that the student didn’t raise enough money.
According to National Today, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 was “National Get Funky Day,” but that was not what prompted there to be a large gathering of University of Dayton students on the 400 block of Lowes St. in the South Student Neighborhood. Rather, a story announcement from the @barstoolflyers Instagram account that read “LOWES TAKEOVER 79 TOMORROW” is likely what incited the rowdy afternoon.
Needless to say, it was a funky day.
Barstool Flyers is a direct affiliate of the popular sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports, according to the account’s Instagram biography.
On Aug. 5, Barstool Sports published a blog, ranking the top 25 party schools across the country. UD was number four on the list.
On Sept. 16, Barstool Sports released an updated version of this same list with UD ranked number 12. Barstool Flyers posted an image of the updated list with a call to action, saying “Make sure to DM us all the content you guys have to show the world that we work hard and play even harder!”
Barstool Flyers, with more than 20,000 Instagram followers, has since made efforts to bolster UD’s “top party school” ranking.
On Oct. 5, Barstool Flyers served as a means of communication for UD students to gather for an event dubbed “Lowesfest.”
“Walking through the street on Saturday during Lowesfest, I was reminded of my freshman year when we were brought together easily as not just a group of students, but as a community,” said Sophia Young, a UD senior and resident of the 400 block of Lowes. “The laughter and joy up and down the streets was one of the many reasons I chose Dayton.”
The crowd that gathered on Lowes was large. Porches and front yards were packed with students.
Thomas Gray, a UD senior and resident of the 400 block of Lowes, was not present for the day’s events. In fact, no one from his house was on campus at the time of Lowesfest. However, he was glad to see his neighbors had fun.
“I found out about [Lowesfest] the day before my roommates and I left,” Gray said. “I knew what Lowesfests were typically like, and I didn’t want to miss it. But at that point, it was too late to change plans. I definitely had some FOMO, it looked like so much fun. Just so many people.”
Returning home, Gray and his roommates were surprised by what they found when they arrived to their house.
“To be honest, I was expecting the place to be destroyed, but the yard looked fine and the inside of the house looked about the same as well,” he said. “It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but I’ll take it.”
Not all students were quite as lucky.
Following the events of the afternoon on Lowes St., a GoFundMe campaign was launched to help a student whose windshield had been broken.
In the campaign’s description, Lili Thomas wrote, “Students were seen walking on and throwing beer cans at my car. I would hope that the UD community would come support a fellow flyer down on her luck.”
At the time this article was published, the campaign had raised just $65 of its $500 goal.
The car was not the only incident of potentially dangerous actions.
Twice in the afternoon, students stormed Lowes St. Additionally, students were seen on top of cars and on the rooves of houses.
Due to the destructive behavior of those present on the 400 block of Lowes, the police presence was increased. Police were seen wearing face shields. According to records, one arrest was made.
Below is a statement made by university officials following the events:
Officers from the University of Dayton and the cities of Oakwood and Dayton responded to a large, unruly gathering Saturday afternoon after reports of people throwing bottles and cans and jumping on cars.
The crowd peacefully dispersed in two hours.
UD public safety has identified some of those responsible, and will continue working to identify others. Possible penalties range from probation to expulsion, and could include criminal charges. So far, UD public safety has made one arrest.
The University in no way condones these actions and will continue educating our students on the behaviors expected of them in our commitment to community.
In an Instagram post following the day’s events, Barstool Flyers shared a number of videos from the afternoon with a caption that read: “Well, today was successful.”
Barstool Flyers also shared a highlight video of the day’s events with a caption, saying, “We absolutely crushed it people, there’s plenty more to come. We’re comin for that #1 spot.”
Similar highlight videos have been shared by other Barstool Sports-affiliated university social media accounts.
Flyer News reached out to Barstool Flyers for a comment, but did not receive one.
Cover photo taken by Griffin Quinn