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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The Devil’s in the detail

    I have a confession to make. I’m a halfie.

    That’s right, I said it. I’m half Sun Devil, half Wildcat. Back in my wee years of freshmandom, I was a student at Arizona State University, before eventually making the move to the UA.

    I know many of you might have derogatory terms for ASU, calling it a community college masking as an accredited university, or a party school where students rate their achievement by keg stands rather than GPA. As a past student who has gone through the ASU experience, I would just like to clear the air and let you know all of these assumptions are true. Every single one of them.

    Like most Sun Devils, my first semester at ASU was spent not building up my academic prowess but my alcohol tolerance. Attendance was more of an “”every other day”” thing and, judging by the half-filled classes, this was common practice for most students.

    The universal lack of enthusiasm was also shared by my teachers. Their PowerPoint may make it look like their teaching political science, but their eyes say they’re thinking of ways to kill themselves.

    During my time at ASU, I never stepped foot once in the library. Never had to. In fact, I’m not quite sure where the library is. I think it might be underground, which would make sense because they were probably trying to hide it from the students.

    Although I have a laundry list of engrossing stories, my most interesting experience at ASU came when I met the student body vice president.

    Being hungry college students, my friends and I decided to participate in the fall fraternity rush. We had no interest in actually joining the greek system; we just decided to exploit the opportunity for free food and maybe find a party.

    However, frat row at ASU looked more like something from “”Beyond Thunderdome”” rather than the large, rustic houses you find on most campuses. About half of the houses were abandoned, surrounded by chain-link fences, and the others looked well on their way.

    The first house on frat row, Sigma Nu, was still open and welcoming in freshmen with open arms and beer-filled plastic cups. Everything seemed kosher until a small group of us were ushered into a back room and sat in front of a big-screen TV.

    An odd hush came over the group as one of the frat members slid a tape into the VHS player. On the screen were two gross-looking female amateur porn stars caressing each other in a shower. Half confused, half disgusted, we sat in silence listening to the Sigma Nu members throw in sleazy off-handed comments like “”oh yeahhhh”” and “”niceeeeee.””

    Things went from strange to just plain freakish. I started to notice that walls in the porn were the same white brick walls in the fraternity house.

    On the screen a man entered the frame and started fondling the girls – which happened to be the same Sigma Nu member standing to our left wearing a nametag identifying him as “”Brian.”” Apparently we were watching the raw footage of an amateur porn where two women, Calli Cox and Bobbi Barrington, went across the country and got it on with “”frat boys.””

    This was my unofficial welcome to ASU: being recruited to a fraternity by being shown a rough cut of “”Shane’s World 29 – Frat Row Scavenger Hunt 3″” while being pushed beer.

    After the video we were invited back later that night with the promise of a party bus and strippers. We opted for playing Xbox and hanging out with our friends in the dorm instead.

    But this isn’t the end of the story.

    Fast forward to June. I’m back home for the summer watching ABC News when blurred images of Calli Cox and Bobbi Barrington in the Sigma Nu showers flash across the screen. Confirming my horror, Peter Jennings boomed, “”After the break, a porn scandal rocks one of America’s largest universities.””

    Why was “”Shane’s World 29 – Frat Row Scavenger Hunt 3″” making the national news? I’m sure amateur porn videos have been shot at colleges across the country, and clearly by the title, there had already been Frat Row Scavenger Hunts 1 and 2, so why the big deal?

    The problem was Brian, the innocently horny fraternity member who got caught up in the moment. Brian wasn’t just some stray student – Brian, more specifically Brian Buck, was the vice president of ASU’s student government.

    In response, Buck did not apologize for his actions and after blocking a motion to impeach him scoffed, “”It’s not like this is Harvard.”” Probably the understatement of the century.

    I think the Sigma Nu incident embodies my experience at ASU. Going there seemed like fun at first, but upon arrival the subverted debauchery of it all rose to the surface.

    I’m sure at ASU there are some great students, teachers, future leaders of the world and all that jazz, but from my experience, ASU plain sucked.

    Coming to the UA was probably one of my best choices I’ve made. I’ve had a handful of great teachers and challenging classes that actually pushed me to go places like the library.

    Being a student at the UA, I have also gotten involved with activities like working for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, which, despite how much I might bring it down, is one of the best college papers in the country. The most involvement I remember having with ASU’s newspaper, the State Press, was using it to mop up vomit.

    Tucson may not be as clean as Tempe, have sidewalks or suitable street lighting, but there’s a reason for that: Tempe’s kept nice to distract from the visceral horror that is ASU.

    Andrew Austin is a media arts super-senior going into his sixth or seventh year of college – kind of like Van Wilder but minus the annoying douche-baggery. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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