Five men disrupted a chemistry lecture Feb. 20 by doing keg stands in front of the class, a stunt which students said they think was likely performed for a YouTube prank video.
Ohyun Kwon, a professor of organic chemistry, said she first noticed a lot of chatter outside her Chemistry 30C lecture in Young Hall CS 76 and asked one of the teaching assistants in her class to go out and check what was happpening. Soon after, the men entered through the back of the lecture hall. One stood in the back of the class and interrupted Kwon’s lecture.
“I feel like we need a mid-class study break,” he said, as heard in the BruinCast recording. “Let’s do keg stands!”
In a matter of seconds, the men rushed to the front of the room and performed two keg stands.
Many students said a camera was set up in the back of the room to record the incident, leading them to believe that the stunt was performed for a prank video.
One of the participants was Kristen Hanby, a YouTuber with over 1 million subscribers. Another participant was Evan Eckenrode, who has over 2 million YouTube subscribers.
Hanby did not respond to request for comment.
Kwon said the incident happened so quickly she didn’t have time to object.
“It all happened so fast,” she said. “I turned around to write something, and the next minute, there are a whole bunch of guys with a keg.”
She said she considered yelling at the individuals who barged in the classroom but decided to remain silent to let the disruption pass as quickly as possible.
“I thought it would be a minute or less of hoopla, so I just let them be,” Kwon said.
The men were in and out of the room within five minutes. They were in front of the classroom for less than two.
Kwon said she resumed teaching after the incident. Although the interruption was brief, she said it disrupted the focus of the classroom.
“The concentration was broken,” Kwon said. “It was very unfortunate.”
She added she thinks UCPD should work to prevent incidents like these.
UCPD Lt. Kevin Kilgore said UCPD did not hear about the incident, but people should contact them if similar situations happen in the future.
“We encourage people to utilize us as a resource for them and we can be of assistance and try to mitigate these matters,” Kilgore said.
Angelina Kim, a second-year chemistry student, said she thinks nobody in the class called UCPD because they did not think the incident qualified as a crime or a breach of safety that warranted police intervention.
“It’s hard to classify it as a crime because they weren’t doing anything that would harm us,” Kim said.
Kim said most of the students in the class felt annoyed by the interruption because the class was preparing for an upcoming midterm.
“I just thought it was a nuisance,” Kim said. “This (was) not the right time for this.”
Although incidents like these are not necessarily common, this was not a first.
In January 2018, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, a YouTuber with over 9 million subscribers, uploaded three different videos of various pranks at UCLA. His stunts included listening to moaning noises in Powell Library and having students use pick-up lines on each other on Janss lawn. Zdorovetskiy was removed from Powell Library by library staff in one video after students reported he was disturbing library activities.
In October 2017, Jag Singh, a YouTuber with over 1 million subscribers, disturbed students in Charles E. Young Research Library by playing music out loud while students were studying.
Kilgore said UCPD can only address these issues if witnesses report them.
“We’re always happy to look into them, we just need to know about them,” Kilgore said. “If we don’t know about them, we can’t do anything about them.”