Standing there for 10 minutes without moving a step, it was the first time I went to frat party. Also, it was the biggest cultural shock I had ever experienced. It was the first month I arrived in Bucknell and United States. I still remember the smell of alcohol covered every breath I took in. A guy hugged me from my back and moved like a snake. I was scared because nobody has ever done this to me before. People were dancing, talking and kissing. Girls and guys were sticking with each other sexually. There was a bar at behind so that people can get alcohol freely without checking the ID. Once international students were gathered together to talk about their experience of explore Bucknell. Party and drinking culture shocked all of us with no exception.
I think Bucknell has intersectional issues of race, class and gender. First, Greek life in Bucknell is weigh more important than in other colleges. There are more than 50% students involve in fraternities or sororities. Also, I figured that Greek life in Bucknell is lack of diversity. On one hand, there were only a few international students involved in Greek life. I used to rush for sororities and found out some shared details. For example, most of sororities have a few or none international students but actually there were many international students participating the rush. Also, the types of sororities and fraternities are so rare. For example, some colleges have Greek life for community service, for academia or for specific culture. But Bucknell only has one type of Greek life, which focuses on social networks. I think Greek life in Bucknell should involve more diverse factors and focus more on non-Greek social activities on campus.
Since the Greek culture is so popular in Bucknell, the binge drinking rates at Bucknell are higher than at our peer institutions. According to the material provided by professor, 47% of women report binge drinking in the prior two weeks, while 65% of Bucknell men also engage in more frequent episodes of binge drinking. I think it is easy to understand the popularity of drinking culture in Bucknell. Our campus is in the middle of nowhere. People seek ways of entertainment and alcohol provides them different indoor drinking games. Also, getting drunk is the prerequisite of our “hook-up” culture. People get drunk to be able to “cross the line”. There has never been a serious ban of alcohol in Bucknell. Professors, BSG and faculties would only remind students to be careful during the House Party weekend but not to ban the House Party weekend. The reminders are more likely the under-table permits of drinking culture in Bucknell.
One of the consequences of drinking culture is the sexual assault. The percentage who report one or more form of sexual assault ranges from 43% to 59% based on the survey in 2009. Binge drinking appears to put women at risk for sexual assault. Also, Black and Hispanic women are more likely to be assaulted. It is so astonishing. It proves the lack of culture diversity of Bucknell in a further step. The lack of cultural diversity leads to the lack of concern to minorities and the lack of conscious of respecting people from different race backgrounds.
As a high-level education institution, I think Bucknell should increase diversity on campus and develop more non-Greek campus activities to dilute the drinking culture on campus. I still love Bucknell.