Frat Parties: Unlike the Movies

You have all seen the typical college/high school movie. The ones where jocks rule and the weird kids get pushed around. The ones where there are endless parties at fraternities and freshmen get hazed in order to get into one of the fraternities. It’s a lie. By now, those of you who have read my … Read more

You have all seen the typical college/high school movie. The ones where jocks rule and the weird kids get pushed around. The ones where there are endless parties at fraternities and freshmen get hazed in order to get into one of the fraternities.

It’s a lie.

By now, those of you who have read my blog posts will know that I am a transfer student from Malaysia and I have been here since January 2011. I have never been to a frat party over the past four semesters. It was always something I had chosen to avoid because, sorry to say, I’m not a big fan of that culture. And by “that culture” I mean fraternities and sororities.

Nevertheless, I have always had that image in my head. The idea that frat parties are always insane and out of control. The idea that all frat boys do is party day and night. Can you blame me? The amount of movies that depict this exact scenario is insane!

This semester, I decided to put aside all my prejudice and give it a go. I wanted to be a more open person. I thought that if I were to be accepted by American students for my diversity, I should also give their culture a chance. So I did. I went to a frat party. No, I went to two.

The first was a month or so ago at Phi Kappa Tau. I was genuinely excited. It was going to be the first time I stepped foot in a fraternity and the first time I attended a frat party. It was by far the strangest experience I have ever had. The party was unlike anything I had seen in the movies before. It was bizarre and a little appalling. What I saw there, I could never UN-see.

Then on Friday night, I had decided to give it another go; thinking that I might have just went to one of those bad ones. So I went to the Sigma Nu “Saints and Sinners” party. My initial concern was that I had no idea how to dress for the theme. But as soon as I stepped into the party, I knew that all my concerns were for nothing. That was because no one actually dressed like the theme suggested. It was, in every aspect, “just another frat party.” This time, I did not stick around. I left. Very rapidly.

I guess coming from Malaysia, I had a different idea of how frat parties were supposed to be. In many ways, I was disappointed. Everything that I had seen in movies were just fictional scenarios made up by screenwriters to over-exaggerate the actual thing. But I suppose I was also relieved that I did not like it. I am now safe from the possible frat party addiction.

I was not impressed, guys. Most of us international students expected more from all the movies we have seen about frat parties here in America. But no worries, maybe it’s just because I myself have had little experience with parties back in my hometown over the last summer. Maybe.

I am… diverse?

I am… diverse?

Coming from a foreign country, I have always been considered to be part of the university’s diversity. I am an international student from Malaysia, and if you look at my ethnicity, I would say I am Chinese. I am, really. I am a third (at least I think I am) generation Malaysian-born Chinese studying here … Read more

Coming from a foreign country, I have always been considered to be part of the university’s diversity. I am an international student from Malaysia, and if you look at my ethnicity, I would say I am Chinese. I am, really. I am a third (at least I think I am) generation Malaysian-born Chinese studying here at the University of Mount Union. I was raised a Buddhist and currently have no religious affiliations. I am under the “still looking” category when it comes to religion. I wear correctional lenses for astigmatism. I am heterosexual but have great friends who are homosexuals and I respect them. I speak English, Malay and three different Chinese dialects. So yes, I do consider myself pretty diverse.

But am I?

The University of Mount Union hosted the 5th Annual Not Another Statistic Conference on Saturday, November 17. Organized by the Diversity Council, the conference hosted students from nearby colleges. The conference promotes diversity and aims to educate participants about the various issues that pertain to each of the organizations within the council.

The Diversity Council is a coalition of diversity organizations that includes:

Association of International Students (AIS), Association of Women Students (AWS), Black Student Union (BSU), Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Hispanic Organization Latino America (HOLA), Spiritual Life Leadership (SLL) and See The Ability Not Disability (STAND)

Being part of the planning process and helping out at the conference expanded my perception on what diversity is. I also had the opportunity to meet and observe people from (literally) all walks of life. It made me think about how diverse I really am.

What is diversity?

Though I may be, in many ways, diverse, I feel that I am not. Sure, I may be a minority here, but back in Malaysia, well, technically I am also a minority back there, but you get my point. Back in Malaysia, I may not be as diverse as I am considered to be here. Diversity isn’t about being multiracial. Diversity isn’t about being different. I think to be diverse is to be open to people who are different from you.

For that, I am guilty. When I look at myself and the people around me, I am not so diverse after all. I consider this to be one of my biggest regrets in college. Being a transfer student and only having two years here, I feel as though I have spent most of my time in college surrounding myself with people who are like me. Of course, your closest friends would (most of the time) be people like you, but that does not mean that you cannot associate yourself with people who are different. That will change.

This semester, due to personal reasons, I have realized that I am more open to people than I had been for the past three semesters. Though I had refused to admit it, I do judge people way too often and that stops me from being open. People should stop caring about things like race and religion, gay or straight and what kind of disability one has. Easier said than done, I know, but at the end of the day, we are only human. I wish people could see that. Even though I don’t have this mentality daily. I should, really.

The world is becoming less segregated. We are at a time where people move around the world. We are witnessing the world transform into one big family. So the next time you see someone who is different from who you are, stop trying to spot the differences between you and that individual. Instead, walk over, say hi and be open. We all live in the same world. Make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race. Now where have I heard that line before?