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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Through the shot glass: A look at UA frat party culture

As freshmen living in the dorms without a car, many students’ only option for partying is at fraternity parties.

This was the situation I found myself in as a freshman last year. Despite my repeated negative experiences with frat parties, and my disgust for the entire general ambiance of them, I still found myself giving in and attending them once in a while simply because I felt trapped into doing so. There was nowhere else for me to go—I am an out-of-state student, I didn’t yet have an established friend group, and I wasn’t about to walk or Uber alone to an off-campus party I knew nothing about.

The entire ordeal of fraternity parties—from getting ready to leaving the party—is loathsome. First, nearly everyone puts on minimal black clothing, with no clear differentiating features from one dress to the next. Running out of black clothes? Borrow from your roommate! She’s not the same size as you? Use saran wrap, masking tape, or hairspray to make everything stay in place!Yes, I have witnessed the uncanny usage of all of these products in the interest of cramming body parts into spaces they simply do not fit in.

Then, it’s time to move on to shoes. There is more opportunity for variation in this area; the only requirement is that you should not be able to walk straight in them even while sober, let alone while intoxicated.

Time for the party! Before you leave, most people insist on taking some pre-game shots because it’s a generally accepted fact that it’s impossible to have fun at these parties unless you not only get drunk while there, but also arrive with a baseline level of intoxication. Due to the aforementioned shoe situation, walking there is usually not an option, so spending money on an Uber ride just to get there—as well as to get back later—is often inevitable. 

Directions are not typically necessary; all the driver has to do is follow the giggling hoards of black-clad girls, driving slowly to avoid running one of them over as she wobbles off the sidewalk and falls into the road while laugh-screaming “OMG I’M NOT EVEN THAT DRUNK!” As you approach the gates of horny hook-up Hell, smug fraternity members welcome you graciously into their house of puking pestilence. However, this warm welcome is reserved exclusively for females. If you dare approach with a male in your group, he will probably be unceremoniously shunned and told to leave. God forbid he might speak to a girl at the party, statistically lowering the potential amount of sex that the frat members might have that night. After eliminating any threats to the members’ dominance over that night’s hookup sphere, girls are allowed to enter.

The room is a claustrophobic person’s nightmare, teeming with females who mostly all look like they were cloned in a petri dish and dropped from the heavens into the party. The hunt for alcohol begins instantly. Girls everywhere are in an animalistic dash to find the rooms with bars in them. The term “bar” is used quite loosely here. Giant orange Gatorade coolers still haunted with the Hawaiian Punch and Everclear of three weeks ago are set out on tables, filled with mysterious intoxicating liquids. There are a plethora of bottles around too, each one probably having touched the mouths of at least 200 people in a night; a glass bottle museum of colds and cold sores waiting to happen.

After enough sketchy alcoholic beverages have been choked down, it’s time to discuss the purpose of the party, which is … oh, wait. What exactly is it? It could be dancing, but with no room to move or breathe because finding enough room to dance is out of the question. You could stand and wait for a fraternity member to sneak up behind you, harshly grab your hips and start trying to grind with you, but then again, there is about a 10:1 girl-to-guy ratio so dancing with a guy is not always feasible. Perhaps the purpose is to meet new people and make new friends? 

That would be nice, but would also require someone to have the voice of Shia LaBeouf in motivational mode in order to be heard over the volume of the music and the din of girls screaming. So, realizing the lack of purpose and feeling overwhelmed from all the drunk robots everywhere, you decide to go get a breath of fresh air outside. After having to violently shove through avalanches of sweaty bodies, reaching the door is a relief. You slip past the door-guard, who yells after you that you have to leave out the back door so as not to attract police attention. This makes perfect sense, because, of course, when there is a giant house with blaring music, stumbling girls spilling in and out of it for hours on end, and Uber drivers lining the entire block, one sober girl stepping outside for fresh air is clearly what’s going to catch the attention of the police.

As you stand outside, refusing the incessant hounding of the “brothers” to go back inside, it dawns on you that you can’t even hate them, you can only pity them. Some of them genuinely believe their house, their party and their general existence, are God’s gifts to Earth. They cannot fathom it to be any other way. You leave and return home, feeling both emotionally and physically drained, and praying some other sort of party option presents itself next weekend so you can keep a vow to never return to such a cesspool for the rest of your college career.

Follow Talya Jaffe on Twitter


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