"Indian Pond" or "Campus Pond" is small concrete-bottomed body of water on the State University of New York at Albany's main campus, fed by storm drainage water, used primarily for the irrigation of SUNY Albany's athletics fields. It has had a troubled history of pollution and the deaths not just of fish but of a SUNY Albany student.
Hazing kills, SUNY Albany, April 21, 1988
At 6:15 PM, a wide receiver on the SUNY Albany football team, as part of a fraternity hazing ritual, stripped to his underwear and entered the cold, murky, polluted body of runoff water filled with metal debris called "Indian Pond" and was electrocuted to death in front of twelve other pledges and ten fraternity brothers. The recent pledges were "invited" to "wash away any non-TKE qualities" by jumping into the murky, polluted, debris-filled (and electrified) body of runoff water, allegedly only after they'd been told they'd been accepted as members. Two others being hazed by the same act were hospitalized.
That the pond had a history of growing polluted and filling with trash had been known since the 1970s at least. For a time it had been monitored regularly. That the pond had been electrified was also known: "at least two students suspected electricity was in [Indian Pond]."
The cause of the pond becoming electrified was believed to have involved a junction box that had been "inexplicably pulled out" and current running through an underground line from the physical education building which had been inexplicably sheared:
SUNY Albany Director of Campus Relations Vincent Sweeney had stated that it was not hazing, but a prank, and that it "could have happened under any circumstances" (Lanning). Furthermore, "School officials have said the incident did not constitute hazing because no coercion was involved" (Toczylowski). SUNY Albany professor and Albany County District Attorney Sol Greenberg stated the fatal fraternity hazing involved "some of the best-behaved students in the state" and that it was "just tragic that this had to happen" (Lanning) despite other better-behaved students in the state not engaging in such a hazing ritual, and the fatal hazing ritual in fact being something that didn't have to happen at all.
SUNY Albany football coach Bob Ford stated that the fatally electrocuted football player's last wish was for UAlbany football to recruit his younger brother John:
Ford's sharing that alleged last wish was rather in bad taste, putting extra pressure on the brother to join the SUNY Albany football team. Ford's role model for his own behavior is not the best role model for a coach to have:
Clearly the employees in charge of the body of water used to irrigate the athletics fields, electrified by current from the athletics building, that resulted in the electrocution of an athlete, could have used a bit more looking over their shoulders. Athletes, too, could have used some more looking over their shoulders, given their willing participation in hazing rituals.
Indian Pond continually runs a high risk of being contaminated by perennial pollution sources, and spreading the University at Albany's pollution to the Krumkill and the Hudson River:
Carragee, Eugene, The Effects of Rotenone treatment on Algae Growth in the Campus Pond, 1974 http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/ua902.064.htm.
Carragee, Gene. "From the Frog's Mouth: Know the Pond." Albany Student Press 62(7). February 14, 1975: 10 cols 3-4. http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/issues/1975_02_14.pdf
"Cuomo Gets Bill Banning Campus Hazing." Gazette. May 12, 1988. 14 col 3. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=63ghAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gYkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=958,2657790
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D'Ambrosio, Mary. "SUNYA student dies in accident; fraternity stunt blamed." Albany Times Union. April 22, 1988: A1. http://alb.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=5485058
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Fairhall, John. "Student sheds light on campus pond." Albany Student Press 59(39). October 20, 1972: 1 cols 1-5, 12. http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/issues/1972_10_20.pdf
"Faulty Cable Linked to Electrocution Death." N.Y. Times. April 24, 1988. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/24/nyregion/faulty-cable-linked-to-electrocution-death.html
Hammond, Mark and Madelyn Kelstein. "Indian Pond Dumping Ground for Trash, Toxins." Albany Student Press 69(22). May 7, 1982: 1 cols 1-5. http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/issues/1982_05_07.pdf
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Kleiman, Dena. "Student, 20, Electrocuted In Albany Campus Pond." N.Y. Times. April 23, 1988. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/23/nyregion/student-20-electrocuted-in-albany-campus-pond.html
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Lerner, David. "Lake Being Restored After Ten Month Wait." Albany Student Press 60(27). September 11, 1973: 1 cols 1-5. http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/issues/1973_09_11.pdf
Mahoney, Joe and Alan Llavore. "SUNYA cancels fraternity inductions; move follows student's electrocution in campus pond." Albany Times Union. April 24, 1988. http://albarchive.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=5485177
Mahoney, Joe. "Pump-house design suspect in SUNYA death." Albany Times Union. April 30, 1988: A1. http://albarchive.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=5485724
Nearing, Brian. "Student's Electrocution Forces SUNYA Office To Halt Frat Pledges." Gazette. April 23, 1988. 17 cols 5-6 http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vnEhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TogFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1035,6184686
Nearing, Brian. "Candles in the Night for Brian; Students Gather for Campus Vigil." Gazette. April 23, 1988. 17 cols 1-3. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vnEhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TogFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1035,6184686
Nearing, Brian. "Report Says 2 Students Knew About Electrified Pond on SUNY Campus." Gazette. April 30, 1988. 17 cols 5-6. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1917&dat=19880430&id=wnEhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TogFAAAAIBAJ&pg=960,7954377
"Pond hazard unknown." Albany Times Union. April 29, 1988: A1. http://albarchive.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=5485614
Raliff, Mike. "'Mysterious White Mist' Pollutes Indian Pond." Albany Student Press 69(18). April 20, 1982: 1 cols 1-5. http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/issues/1982_04_20.pdf
Selwyn, Gary, An Undergraduate Research Study of chemical Pollution in the Campus Pond,1972
"Stormwater Pollution Prevention." Office of Campus Planning. University at Albany. 2011. http://www.albany.edu/facilities/campusplanning/stormwater.html
Tocczylowski, Toni. "Buried cable blamed for electrocution; SUNYA officials probe why student was wading." Albany Times Union. April 24, 1988: B1. http://alb.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=5485230