Swallowing goldfish is generally associated with wild college living (although the movie "A Fish Called Wanda" contains a depiction of a completely sober, non-college student swallowing several aquarium fish).

At the University of South Florida, during a Student Government election in the mid-1990s (Gamaliel says 1994), a candidate, Skip Kessel, promised to swallow a number of live goldfish if he were elected (one fish per hundred votes or something along those lines). He was disqualified from the election by the university's Election Rules Commission, because this pledge was considered to be promising voters compensation for voting for him, and it was against election rules to give people anything in return for their votes.