Yes, I’m settling in here in Claremont in my single room in an air conditioned dorm on campus. Freshman orientation activities — a whirlwind of social meet-and-greet — have concluded. They were largely well-run, though I think colleges could steal more from business conferences which try to facilitate networking — after all, social bonding is the goal of most of orientation, and there are ways to facilitate this beyond simple "two truths and a lie".
The most amusing and complex orientation session was about "life, sex, and relationships". Among other things, the session leaders presented a series of disturbing stats about sexual assault and rape on college campuses. The men in the room were made aware of our legal liability especially if alcohol is involved. The message came through loud and clear:
- "No" means no.
- "Yes" means no.
- "Maybe" means no.
- "Fuck me harder" means no.
In today’s Wall Street Journal ($), a recent Princeton grad reflects on what he calls "sexed-up sex ed" — his freshman orientation session that undermined "traditional values" and discussed about the serious issues of rape in the same sentence as games like "Sex Jeopardy". I don’t believe in traditional values, but it’s not something I observed in my own session anyways.
It’s clear, though, that sex and its associated discussions, rumors, and accusations are a big part of what American college life is about.