Party culture on campus

Student shares their personal experience

Jack Fueger, Contributing Writer

I had decided to stay in my room last Friday night. Looking out my window at the groups of students facing the road, I realized that they were as confused by where to go to as they were about their present state. It’s only my second year in Baldwin, this year as an RA, and I have learned that once the lights go out in the hallway, not a soul remains without a spirit of adventure.

With some lost hope, I see in my resident’s faces the desire that tonight will change their lives, that something might happen to their lost perception of home. I now know that all they wanted is the ability to figure out concretely who they are as a person, as someone to be desired and embraced.

When I was a first-year in one of these groups, I still remember the feeling that there was something wrong with us and that we didn’t know what it was.

I’ve been shouted at for the views I have expressed publicly, that I have felt in my heart and have believed for a while now. The resident that came to me that night and the various women that told me stories of pitiful self-hatred have made me one of the jaded voices of Allegheny’s current state of hook-up culture.

The common theme that free cups of alcohol are given exclusively to “attractive” women and women in general has led to nights torn up and thrown away for those that don’t meet a drunken standard of beauty.

I remember one woman in particular, whose first night going out was ruined when a male housemate gave a free cup to her friend and then in the same breath turned her away to cups that cost three dollars. Even the friend who got a free cup suffered the fate of being rewarded for a certain performance she drew only with her make-up and her appearance.

I remember my first time going out as a gay first-year, freshly out, simply to realize that hookup culture and partying didn’t exist for me or for the “attractive” women who received free cups; it was only for the men of the house who controlled us.

As a gay man in a space that taught me not to interfere with the straight dealings going on around me, my first weeks here didn’t allow me to call Allegheny a “safe place”. I do not want to speak for an entire community I am only a part of, but my feeling at the time was that I understood there would be no space for a group of people that struggle with a sense of home and of ownership.

To that man that shouted at me for speaking to these same acts in an article last year, I only do it for the people that feel unsafe and vulnerable. I know that night you did not want to hear our feelings, but I and all those who spoke to me do it for the victims’ generosity as well as their grace. I just think of the woman I saw my first-year and her story: left standing there in tears, she was being pulled by her friends into a house on the side of the road that no one wanted to go to.