Instructor to return after non-student shotguns beer in class


Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, Staff Reporter

Update Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 1:21 p.m.

University spokesperson Chris Bryant confirmed at 12:47 p.m. that Stayer was no longer suspended but said the following will be the only information that is provided:

“We have reviewed the situation involving Joel Strayer, and he is returning to the classroom today, September 17, 2019,” he said in an email.

On Tuesday, Sept. 3, a non-Alabama student attended the 6:30 p.m. section of Joel Strayer’s supply chain management class and shotgunned a beer during the lecture. 

When one student noticed this individual walk to a trash can situated along the side of the lecture hall with a beer in hand, she started recording. This video was posted that same day to @barstoolalabama on Instagram, where it has since gained more than 33,000 views. 

A student in Strayer’s IBA 455 class, Caitlan Mahoney, who is a senior majoring in public relations, said Strayer addressed the incident on Thursday, Sept. 5 after a classmate mentioned the video circulating online. According to Mahoney, Strayer claimed he didn’t know who the student in question was, nor did he realize what was happening until it was over. 

The video shows a young man, who has been identified as Trevor Nappier, a student at Illinois State University, shotgunning a beer over a trashcan in the back of the lecture-style room. 

“You good?” an instructor said mid-lecture as the student pierced a can of Michelob Ultra. 

“Oh yeah, keep going, you’re good,” Nappier said. 

“Oh, cool. Thanks man, I appreciate it,” the instructor said.

Nappier then shotgunned the beer while the class applauded. 

“I am impressed,” the instructor said. “I love it.”

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In Class Shotty

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Trip Starkey, a junior majoring in management information systems and marketing, was enrolled in a different class taught by Strayer. After arriving to lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 10, the class was met with a new syllabus and a new instructor, Brian Montavon. 

Starkey said Kristy Reynolds, the head of the marketing department, visited each section of Strayer’s classes to inform them he had taken a leave of absence and will not return this semester, but she was unable to provide further details. Diana Gomez is the temporary instructor for the global marketing course where the incident occurred.  

Starkey said Reynolds provided the same explanation and was unable to elaborate on the situation. According to Starkey, Reynolds also informed the students that the video had been sent to the “dean.” Starkey said he was unsure whether Reynolds meant the dean of the marketing department or the UA dean of students, who recently resigned.

Starkey expressed his confusion after hearing about the suspension. 

“Strayer addressed it during the next class,” Starkey said. “I thought, ‘Oh, he’s dealing with it the proper way. It was [the class’s] understanding that the University had heard about it and it had been cleared.”

Once they were dismissed, a conversation took place among students in the class’s GroupMe. Starkey made the initial suggestion for a petition, but only created it after receiving support from his classmates. He called it a “group effort,” describing the process of formulating the text, consulting his classmates and making revisions before posting it.  

Within five hours of sharing the petition, it surpassed 2,200 signatures and was shared on @barstoolalabama, the account responsible for initially spreading the video. The students responsible for the petition have no plans for further action at this time.  

Starkey noted the widespread approval of Strayer among students, describing him as one of “the most engaging professors” he’s encountered at the University. He viewed Strayer’s lenient attendance policy coupled with his high student attendance as a testament to his abilities as an instructor. According to RateMyProfessors, Strayer has a 4.8 out of five ranking for overall quality with a 2.3 average difficulty ranking. 

A request for an extension of the add/drop date without receiving a “W” has been discussed among students who signed up for the course solely to be taught by Strayer. 

Strayer’s students have been unable to contact him via email on Tuesday, and Starkey mentioned anticipation of a visit from a University official during their next class meeting on Thursday. 

Chris Bryant, assistant director for media relations at the University, said on Wednesday morning that he had no additional information to share on Strayer’s suspension.

The Crimson White attempted to reach out to Strayer and Reynolds for comment but received no response before the time of publication. This story will be updated as more information is revealed. 

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 8:10 a.m and at 12:49 p.m with corrections to Bryant’s position and the time and section that the original incident occurred.

Update Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 4 p.m.

An administrative assistant told The Crimson White that concerned students may email dean of Kay Palan, dean of the business school, at [email protected].

Update Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 5:05 p.m.

Chris Bryant, assistant director for media relations, emailed a statement at 4:38 p.m. confirming Strayer’s suspension.

“This is an ongoing personnel matter, and we cannot discuss details,” Bryant said in the email. “Strayer was placed on administrative leave while several concerns are being investigated.”