Saturday, September 23, 2006

Salsa Dancing is Way Cooler than Frat Parties

The college brought in a fabulous Salsa band named Azucar last night. Za and I (along with his Post doc and some other colleagues) went to hear the band and do a little dancing. My college has this fabulous night club on campus, built just for the students to offer them a place to go and dance. I was happy to see the eclectic group of students present. Had you walked into this campus night club, and it was your first experience of my college, you would think that this is an incredibly diverse place.

Yet, this was not a typical cross section of our students, and that got me down. Many of the students were at their various fraternity and sorority member education meetings/gatherings. Upper class students were out at local bars. And, so the only students interested in doing some salsa dancing were our international students, students of color, or freshmen, who haven't been soured to such social options. What a pity.

The Greek life on this campus dominates. They dictate what is cool and what is worth doing on the weekend. When I have asked students why they don't just leave their sorority/fraternity, they usually respond with "what else would I do?" The idea is that without the Greeks there would be no social options on this campus. Sad. Just plain sad. Something about the social scene at this college stunts our student's emotional growth; they act a lot more like middle school students than young adults.

The college built this dance club in an effort to draw away students from the Greeks. By giving them a really, really nice place to dance, play pool and a bar, the idea was that students wouldn't feel so dependent on the Greeks for entertainment. But, this clever idea has not really made a significant difference. Most students don't take advantage of this space, and instead cling to the juvenile drinking parties and pop music of frat houses. I don't get it.

Why would anyone turn down the chance to do some salsa dancing? Damn!