By LAURA HUMBLE – STAFF WRITER
We have all experienced it: walking into a dark house full of hot sweaty bodies, music pulsing in our ears, people moving in every direction in such a small space, bumping into you, maybe because it’s dark or maybe because they’re drunk.
Maybe you swiped in first, or maybe you just walked on through.
Maybe you had a few drinks before you came, or maybe you arrived totally sober.
Depending on the theme, people might be running around in togas, chasing after you with a Sharpie or just all out raging.
Fraternity parties are a wild time.
Fraternity parties get a bad rap on campus, but you would be hard pressed to find a Centre student who hasn’t attended his or her fair share. People’s opinions run the gamut from extreme hatred to pure enthusiasm.
“I don’t go to frat parties,” senior Jessica Craig said. “I don’t really like to be touched without permission.”
This is a common complaint among Centre students, especially the women.
“I like going and hanging out there, but I think some of them are a bit creepy,” sophomore Katie Rogers said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say certain fraternity men or fraternity houses are creepy, but in general, there are some creepy men. I don’t know how I would go about changing that.”
The creepiness and unwanted touching to which Rogers and Craig refer are the particular “dancing style” of certain men within fraternity houses. Some men can best be described as the family dog that goes around humping people’s legs.
Rogers makes an excellent point in emphasizing that no one particular group of men begins grinding on women without permission, but that certain aggressive individuals do. As such, it can create an atmosphere of discomfort within the houses for women in general.
However, many enjoy the vibe as a break from school stress.
“I think frat parties are cool. They’re a really great way to let loose and dance your heart out after a long week of classes,” senior Andrea Merchak said.
Many members of Centre’s campus also echo this sentiment. After all, isn’t it President Roush who asks us to “work hard and play hard?”
“A party localizes a problem that would ordinarily be widespread,” senior Colin Wurster said.
The problem he refers to is that of drinking and the rambunctious ramifications that come with the mass consumption of alcohol. Wurster sees this as a positive way of containing chaos, even if it can do damage to the fraternity hosting the party.
“It can come back on the fraternity, but frats are set up so they can incur a certain amount of responsibility.* I suppose [fraternity parties] are adequate as a social outlet given our location and situation,” Wurster said.
In other words, there is nothing else to do.
Of course, this is not the first time at the rodeo for students like Wurster and Craig. By this point, they have been through four toga and graffiti parties. It’s understandable for their outlooks on fraternity parties to be a little more jaded than underclassmen.
Rogers, despite the potential creepiness of the atmosphere, does enjoy them. “For the most part, I just think it is a fun place to hang out and dance with my friends,” Rogers said.
But what do first-years think?
First-year Briana Butler laughed when asked whether or not she liked them.
“I went to Catholic school before this, so when I saw there was drinking and grinding, I was like, ‘What is this?’” Butler said.
Despite her initial surprise, it seems likely Butler will attend more parties during her next four years.
“They’re okay, though I prefer to read a book,” Butler said.
Love them or hate them, fraternity parties offer the only semblance of exciting nightlife to Centre’s campus. Considering the lack of entertainment within Danville’s community as well, it’s no wonder so many students flock to them every weekend. However, given largely ambivalent, or even negative, feedback from students, our only outlet seems to quickly become passé. So the question becomes: What can we do to improve the quality of nightlife at Centre College?
*Editor’s note: Mr. Wurster’s quote should actually read, “It can come back on the fraternity, but frats are set up so they can incur a certain amount of risk.” Our apologies on the error.