I Went To A Frat Party For The First Time, And Here's What Happened

I Went To A Frat Party For The First Time, And Here's What Happened

Adventures with an Introvert.

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I would consider myself to be kind of a boring person. That's not to say that I'm uninteresting or dull, I'm just not as "exciting" as most college students are. I don't like parties, at all. I think my first traumatizing experience with a party was when I had a sleepover with my friends on my 7th birthday. By 8 p.m., I was ready for everyone to go back home so I could be alone. Ever since I've been labeled as a bit of an introvert by my friends and family. I would say that I lean more towards the introverted side of the spectrum because I do vibe off of others energy quite well, I just need time to recharge.

I didn't experience much of the "fun" side of college my first year. I was always too busy working or doing homework, that I just never really put myself out there to do it. I'd already labeled it as something I wasn't into, so why would I even go? It couldn't hurt to see what all of the fuss was about. Last week, my friends asked me if I wanted to go "fratting" with them. For those of you who don't know, (because I didn't) Fratting is almost like bar hopping, except with the frat houses. I figured this was my opportunity to test the waters with a group of people I trust.

Now, on top of my introverted nature, I have chronic anxiety, and situations, where people are not in control of themselves, make that anxiety worse. Going into this, I prepared myself and my friends for what could happen if my anxiety gets out of control, and they were extremely kind and patient with me as we made plans. On that Thursday, my friends and I ventured out onto the streets.

The first place we went to was a kickback. I honestly had no idea what a kickback was, my friends explained it as a chilled out, an intimate party where people drink. The kickback consisted of meeting a lot of random people, and one guy shamed me for not drinking alcohol. For my own personal beliefs and reasons, I don't drink, so to be patronized for it got under my skin a bit. Nevertheless, I took my cup of cola and smiled.

At 11 p.m., we hit the frats. This is where things started to get more intense. I enjoyed that at the frats you can dance to the loud music, and no one really cares. However, it felt like I was the only sober person in the world. Part of me felt sad that I was missing out on the freedom from your mind that alcohol can give you, but quickly lost that feeling as I saw people start to lose it throughout the night.

People are all over each other and everyone seems like a messy kind of drunk. People are making out everywhere, the floor has spilled alcohol and sometimes vomit all over the place. I'm definitely out of my element, and I desperately wished I could call my boyfriend to come to pick me up. However, when you go with a group of girls, there's a sense of comradery, and you don't leave anyone alone. Not even to go to the bathroom, and after seeing the way some of these guys look at girls like they're meals and they haven't eaten in years, I'm not surprised we take those precautions. The frat guys walk around as if they are sharks and the girls are minnows. One guy even bumped into me and started to move in like he was about to eat me or something. (Yikes, that sounds wrong.) Thankfully my friend pushed him out of the way.

Mostly what I've learned from this experience is that going to frat parties is neither as good nor as bad as I thought it would be. There's something kind of comical about being the only sober person in the room, but I think to fully experience the fun at frat party, you have to be comfortable with drinking. (And also probably single). My personal experience wasn't anything special or horrifying, I was just submerged in a culture that I don't necessarily belong to. However, I'm glad I got the experience, I feel as though I understand not only college life better, but my friends interest better as well.

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10 Things To Keep In Mind During Fraternity Rush

If you get an early bid, don't act like you're already in.
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If you ask any fraternity man about his rush experience, he will tell you that it was some of the most fun he had in college. Sorority women will give you horror stories of all the hoops they needed to jump through during their recruitment or how much they were sick of clapping and jumping after the first night. Fraternity rush is much more laid back than any sorority recruitment, especially on campuses that have no formal rush.

I have been involved in the rush process at two different schools, one having a formal rush and one without. While formal and informal rush are two different processes in recruiting, the principles of recruitment remain the same. I have been that 18-year-old kid trying to pick the right organization and I have been the rush chair actively pursuing well-rounded men to join my organization. While fraternity rush is not as stressful as sorority recruitment, there are still many ways that someone can find themselves bid less past bid day. I hope these tips can help an upcoming freshman understand what fraternities look out for during rush and how they can land themselves in an organization that they will love until death.

1. Summer is important.

Some schools don’t participate in summer rush, but if the school you’re attending does I urge you to participate. Some of the most fun I had while rushing was at summer rush events. It gives you an opportunity to not only get your name out there to the guys in the fraternity, but also helps with making friends before you arrive on campus. These events usually include float/canoe trips, lakehouse parties, or just coming to the fraternity house for a party. Not everyone attends these parties so you might be one of seven freshmen at the whole event, which gives you the opportunity to make friends with the guys in the fraternity. When you move in August you'll know exactly who to call. It was a big factor to me in making my final decision on which bid to take. Besides the events at your orientations, Greek organizations will have tables for you to come talk to them. DO IT. Be sure to exchange numbers with them so they can invite you to events in the fall.



2. Don't just wait to be approached.

Fraternity men aren’t perfect; we can’t just meet every freshman on campus. So if you have an interest in joining or getting to know more about greek life, pursue it. Grab your roommate and walk over to the houses, or if you see a guy in the student center with Greek letters on, stop and talk to him. You can’t just sit and wait to be courted like a princess.


SEE ALSO: 22 Politicians Who Were Also In Fraternities

3. Hold your cards close to your chest.

What I mean by this is don’t be forced into making a decision. Chances are you will get more than one bid, but don’t feel like you have to rush to make a decision. Get to know the guys in those fraternities as well as getting to know what they represent on campus as well.


4. Girls can make or break you.

I’m not saying don’t chase girls during rush, but don’t make a fool of yourself doing it. You are always being watched. Not only by the guys in the fraternities but by every girl they associate with. If a girl thinks that you aren’t worth being in the fraternity she likes, she will voice her opinion to the guys and that could ruin your chances at getting a bid from that fraternity. Most Fraternities pride themselves on being gentlemen. If they don’t think you can fit that mold than they won’t ask you to join.


5. Handle yourself at parties.

You will be remembered for your actions at parties. If you are the guy who passes out in a trashcan or breaks a glass bottle in the parking lot, it won’t make you look good in the long run.


6. Don't always talk about parties and girls.

Fraternity life is more than what’s portrayed on TFM. The guys want to know about who you are and what you want to do in your life. They are looking for the best well-rounded men to join them. If you just talk about picking up chicks and partying it doesn’t make the guys think that you are someone who is trying to join for the right reasons.


7. Go to class.

We are in college to get an education. Fraternities want men who can party hard, but work harder. If you skip class constantly and act like you don’t care about school then you can forget about receiving a bid from a fraternity.


8. Don't fall for the prestige.

When I was rushing I had to make a final decision that came down to two choices. Join the fraternity that has a large campus footprint and wins all the Greek awards or join the fraternity where I felt like I fit in and had made great friends. Sometimes the best fraternity for you isn’t the best on campus, but if you find a group of guys that you feel like you will fit in with, then you have found the fraternity for you.


9. Pay attention to who you are rushing with.

When you go to rush events you will start seeing the same freshmen guys that you see every time you go to that house. Get to know them; they could be your future pledge brothers. Don’t always base your decision on the guys you might pledge with, but definitely keep it in mind.


10. If you get an early bid, don't act like you're already in.

Bids can be taken away just as easy as they can be given out. Also remember that after bid day you begin pledgeship. So, just because you have signed a bid card doesn’t give you the right to forget that you are still rushing and have to act accordingly.

Above all else, remember that rush is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the process. Just remember to loosely treat it like a three-week job interview, where not only are you trying to impress, but you are also searching for your best fit.

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Just Because You Can Throw A Ball Does Not Mean Your Rape Is Admissible

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

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I wish rape didn't seep into every sphere of my life. But, like ink, it has.

Interpersonally, my childhood friend was gang-raped by members of the University of North Texas basketball team. As uncovered in an investigation, her circumstances were not isolated, unlike what it says in UNT's initial statement. I am proud to know my friend. I am proud to stand with her. However, I am ashamed at the situation and the commonness of her suffering among students just like me, on college campuses.

Politically, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, promotes new fortifications for students accused of sexual assault. Basically, the rules would reduce the legal classification of harassment while offering protections for those accused of wrongdoing. In my emotions, I firmly believe in the American ideal of being "innocent until proven guilty". However, even in a crime so entrenched in emotions, I must look at facts. Facts say that the falsification rate of rape is the same as most other crimes, somewhere around 5%. Therefore, I believe that DeVos' proposal would tilt investigations in favor of the committer and significantly lessen the number of victims who would have the assurance to come forward and tell his/her story. In a campus-setting, where 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted, her "solution" adds gasoline to a country-wide fire.

Educationally, Brock Turner, a swimmer at Stanford University received just six months in county jail after being found guilty of five felonies, all of which amount to him raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. In defense of the light sentence, the judge said, "the more time (Turner spends) in jail, the more severe impact" on his future, who wanted to go to the Olympics. Never mind the future of the victim.

First off, rape culture, a sociological concept in which sexual assault is pervasive and normalized, exists. And while it exists everywhere, I can only speak with any authority on the campus setting, where hook-up culture is both catalyzed and camouflaged. Here, the area that needs the most treatment is in the locker room, on the court, or on the field.

Student athletes are proportionally the greatest perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

While a tiny 3% of male students are athletes, male student athletes are responsible for almost a fifth of sexual assaults on campus. And that is just the events that are reported, (just so you know, about 3 out of 4 go unreported). However, the NCAA has no policy that lessens a student's athletic eligibility in the face of sexually violent behavioral patterns. If you have allowed these numbers to simmer in your mind, you can see that this is unacceptable.

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

Most experts make cultural and institutional arguments.

Culturally, student athletes are not seen as "normal" students – rather, they provide a service to the college. Where most students get something from the college, student athletes give to the college, and we should be so lucky to have them grace us with their presence. It is a part of the status quo: high-status students on campus are athletes, especially males who play the most popular sports, like football, basketball, or baseball. These students carry social privilege.

Obviously, athletes are not naturally ethically worse than other students. I am simply saying that absolutely no one is immune to the culture that surrounds him/her, and we have a weird culture.

On average, athletes are more likely than other students on campus to buy into the cross-cultural concept of robust masculinity, which, in extreme cases, can lead to increased sexual aggression. Don't just take it from a non-athlete like me. Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an NBA champion and a former UCLA basketball player, declared the cultural privilege from which he benefited.

"I'm especially aware of the culture of entitlement that athletes feel... they strut around campus with the belief that they can do no wrong."

I am not going to sugarcoat the point that we all know well: football players are comparable to celebrities on campus, which has dangerous implications for a certain untouchability in mindsets.

Institutionally, colleges are as inclined to protect the perpetrator over non-athletic peers. A Senate report concluded that administrators tend to do three actions to protect their athletes, and therefore, their brand.

1. Higher-ups at the school discourage victims from reporting to police outside of the university. In this method, they let the campus police "handle it" and not report to less-biased city forces.

2. Admins downplay an assault's severity, making it less 'criminal', more unintentional and of an event to "move on from".

3. The athletic department can work with the administration and strategically delay proceedings while athletes finish their season.

If these three things are not enough as far as systemic ethical transgressions go, when athletes are found responsible for sexual assault, they may face small consequences.

Just to pull an infamous example from my home state of Texas, Baylor University continues to wrestle with how to deal with battery; I don't need to go over the sheer amount of claims that they were conscious and compliant to most allegations of assault involving their student-athletes.

So, not only is our mindset messed up, but the administration who is supposed to protect us is similarly bungled.

Obviously, athletes are not bad people, only people that are subject to their environment and protected by their talent. But crime is crime. The unnamed victim of Brock Turner said it well as she argued that being "an athlete at a university should not be an entitlement to leniency, but an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law" no matter your status.

Throwing a ball does not make someone above the rules.

Yes, I realize that my words have become trite. Scary articles, documentaries, and books about the sheer magnitude of sexual crime in college abound. But I see my seemingly-repetitive diction more as a reflection of our fallen collegiate system, rather than of myself.

With my article, I only ask that you keep fighting for victims like my childhood friend, for the classmate who sits next to you in lecture, for yourself. This institutional and social discrepancy of "athletics above all else" happens at more universities than I had the breath to mention.

Your first step is taking a searing examination at the failure of American universities to grapple successfully with campus rape in the systematic pattern of protecting student athletes more than other students. The next steps follow naturally. Take part in the activism at your school, encourage survivors, and productively confront the problem. Fear not, the policies will change with your effort.

Politics aside, we are in a time for you to continue speaking the truth, even if your voice trembles.

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