Friday, September 6, 2013

Sanitizing Frosh

"...devil worshippers and spousal abusers?"

It is that time of year again with Universities starting to fill up, and of course the new recruits we know as frosh, are roaming the grounds, wide eyed, terrified, lost and unnerved. It is also time for the news to be filled with “inappropriate” frosh activities, excessive drinking, rowdy parties, group chants with inappropriate wordage and on and on.

The university community of administrators, and even those who are completely uninvolved with university life are up in arms with the inappropriateness of the most trivial activities of a frosh week.

It does not take too deep of a dive into local newspapers or newscasts where some member of a frosh organizing committee is being held accountable for political inappropriateness of an activity or two. Even to the point of community outrage for signs posted on dorm walls, or time honoured rituals that now seem to rub the fur of righteous community leaders.

First off, I expect that most of the “adults” judging and demanding change in frosh behaviour were themselves at one point university graduates, and I also feel I am safe in assuming that they too were involved in similar activities (maybe they have just forgotten).. But I am pretty sure that very few of these impeccably moral folks turned out to be savages, lifelong criminals, or deviant adults
I think these annual outrages insult our new university attendees (or even 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students). Do we have such little faith in our future Engineers, PhD’s, Lawyers, Nurses etc., that wordage in a traditional chant or song (granted politically incorrect) will steer them down a road of devil worshippers and spousal abusers?

 I suggest that the tradition of frosh activities is more valuable than the analysis of being put a microscope to ensure they meet community standards. I, as a frosh, chanted house themes, faculty songs, and paid little attention to the words, or inappropriate allusions – rather I grew socially with the camaraderie, and feeling a part of the university life.

First year university students have lives outside of school, and many it is their first year away from home. They are faced hourly with making mature decisions in order to survive, Bad decisions are met with bad consequences, and good decisions are learned from and repeated. Why then, do we feel that the moment they step on the campus, they must be sheltered and steered from situations that they are required to decide on their own what is right and wrong.

We cannot follow steps in front of these new adults ensuring their paths are clear of political correctness, positive behaviour, and clean living. Let them make their own decisions and learn from them.

University is an opportunity to learn more than Calculus, or Physics – it is the best opportunity to learn about life, and if we insist, as a community, to sanitize their environment.. we are doing our future leaders a true disservice.

1 comment:

  1. Very well put. There is a tremendous amount of pressure put on getting into university, I think it's reasonable to expect a certain amount of chaos when students are finally in and temporarily unburdened with assignments and exams. From my experience it's really not as bad as it must look from the outside. Yeah they yell "Frosh" at you and stuff, but if you had a problem there isn't a doubt in my mind that they'd drop their smart-ass signs and help you. They're still good people, they're just enjoying the jovial nature of frosh week. My school is currently at war against the administration to defend frosh week; it's chipped away at more and more every year. I think frosh week is really what made me fall in love with my school; even being on the butt end of water guns, water balloon catapults (man... they got elaborate...), jeering, yelling and a mix of oatmeal, water and flour called thundersludge, there's still a tremendous amount of camaraderie that grows amongst the frosh, and eventually between the frosh and upper years. Political correctness really annoys me.