The Rusty Nail: Freshmen need to bond

Shared crises make upperclassmen courteous

I was recently at a kegger attended by hundreds of freshman. I did not do this on purpose. As you should know, I am totally against underage drinking (ha, ha). To make things more fun, it was a theme party. A Catholic school theme. Good times. I actually went to a parochial school, but I never had any experiences with jungle juice or even girls with pigtails. What a shame.

(Oh, by the way, did you freshman girls dressed as Britney circa "Hit Me One More Time" notice all those girls not in costume? I like to call them "upperclassmen." These are the people who know better than to dress like fools to impress a frat boy a year older than you. I know you're trying to shed your virginity like a butterfly shedding its cocoon, but could you at least try to keep a little of your dignity? I'm just trying to help here.)

At this party, I was stuck waiting for a beer in the dreaded keg line. I hate this. Why do the aforementioned slutty freshman get to cut their way to the front of the line? Why are men so stupid to choose making a girl they will never meet again happy over obtaining beer?

Anyway, I'm waiting, and a large fellow, who turns out to be a freshman, comes out of the woodwork with an empty cup shouting "House beer! House beer!" I will accept that the people throwing the party do deserve special privileges. Of course, this numbskull didn't live there. He was cutting in line. None of the other freshmen could call him on it, but I was more than happy to. For my bravery, I got shoved.

Now what kind of awful human being would do this? They are guests in someone else's home and they are being allowed to drink illegally. Surely, they should be grateful. But instead, they decide to take advantage of the naive freshman manning the Natty Light keg to cut in line. The more I think about this, the angrier I get. I mean, this guy went out of his way to be dishonest and rude.

This is the first time I had ever seen this shameful beer-obtaining strategy put to use. That doesn't surprise me, because the Class of 2005 and the Class of 2006 have something in common: shared experiences with terror, fear and disaster. I was in college for two weeks when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Perhaps some of the seniors remember me as the guy in the fetal position sucking his thumb in the Anderson Five-South lounge. Everyone was stunned. Two days later, school was closed because of a bomb threat. Maybe you savage public schoolers are used to this sort of thing, but I sure wasn't. One year later, we had to deal with the sniper murders. Around this time I was forced to do community service in downtown D.C. I was terrified. I actually walked around in a serpentine manner.

People who experience fear together tend to stick together. God knows how poorly I got along with my freshman year roommates (think drug busts and assault charges), yet one of my strongest college memories is traveling with them to the Pentagon on Sept. 13, 2001 during the bomb threat. Three students, none of whom were very much alike, were together bearing witness to an incredible moment in American history.

The loyalty I feel toward my classmates, 90 percent of whom I do not like very much, is quite astonishing. I would never steal beer from them and I hope they would offer me the same courtesy. What brings the Class of 2008 together? Nothing. Apparently, some are willing to stab each other in the back for an extra eight ounces of alcohol that tastes like sandpaper.

At least on 9/11, the terrorists were fighting for something. I am certainly not defending these murderers. On Sept. 12, I wanted to blow the bejesus out of Afghanistan just like any other patriotic American. The terrorists had a warped and evil worldview, but at least they had a worldview. These dishonest freshmen, whether they be the exception or the rule, are acting like this for the sole purpose of being antagonistic cretins. Traitors can defend the terrorists; no one can defend someone willing to take advantage of someone else's hospitality for the sake of getting more drinks.

After Sept. 11, many Americans took to buying bumper stickers that said, "These colors don't run." That may be so. All I can wish for is that these disingenuous freshmen slowly fade away like a flag that's been left in the rain two years too long.

Lester Russell Allen IV is a senior CLEG major and history minor. The Rusty Nail runs every Monday.

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