?You?re going where? Now? Why??
Two of my friends shouted these questions at me last Friday night as I scrambled toward CLARC to catch RTS Bus 72.
Yeah, I knew Chi Phi?s luau was that night. I knew that I would miss a fairly jumping fraternity quad. However, I had a fairly wonderful time at a jumping fraternity party downtown across from the Eastman Student Living Center.
No, Sigma Chi didn?t randomly decide to throw a party on Gibbs Street ? the party was put on by one of Eastman?s two fraternities, Mu Phi Epsilon.
I shouted this back at my friends and was met with confusion. Eastman has fraternities? Eastman students are social, normal people? Eastman students do things other than practice their instruments on the weekends?
I couldn?t shout back the answers to all of my friends? unspoken questions ? I would have missed the bus, as my classmates can tell you I did often last year ? so I simply waved goodbye and decided to write this article.
Although I have changed my mind about what my Eastman major should be, I?m still a double-degree student. My primary college, the college through which I receive financial aid and the college at which I live, is the River Campus College of Arts and Sciences.
Last year, I struggled through the oh-so-painful 8:30 classes from which no freshman is able to escape. I took primary piano from Thomas Schumacher, I sang in Repertory Singers and I survived the controversial Eastman Colloquium and Aural Skills classes.
These things and more qualify me, in my humble opinion, to impart some observations that I?ve made in the past year in the hope of dissolving some stereotypes.
First off, the River Campus isn?t the only UR campus with Greek life. On the Eastman front, there are two fraternities ? Mu Phi Epsilon and Phi Mu Alpha. Mu Phi Epsilon is co-ed.
I asked one of its members why the naming of the fraternities wasn?t a little more creative ? the first fraternity I mentioned is nicknamed Mu Phi, and the second is Phi Mu ? but he declined comment.
In general, the fraternities differ from UR?s Interfraternity Council fraternities and Panhellenic sororities in two ways ? they don?t carry as big of a price tag per semester, and their programming is fairly focused on music.
They are similar to UR?s Greek organizations in most other ways, including the fact that they throw mean parties.
Are all Eastman students shy and antisocial? I think not. At the party I attended Friday, one girl hopped up on a table and began to bust a move to a rap song with a guy I think she?d just met.
Even the ones who won?t go right out and table-dance are gregarious, fun folks who are more than willing to add newcomers to their conversation.
Furthermore, many Eastman students prove that they?re not shy by wearing clothes that are unique and eye-catching. To these folks, I can say nothing but ?rock on.?
Eastman students, shockingly, also drink ? but always in moderation, right guys?
As an article published two weeks ago pointed out, Eastman students aren?t hard-core classical music fans all day, every day. They listen to everything from hard rock to country, along with all of the obscure ska and pop bands in between.
Just because Joe Eastman-student might have a passion for a Puccini opera doesn?t mean that he wouldn?t be able to take on a die-hard Phish fan in an argument over which was the group?s best album.
Another misconception I?d like to highlight is a common one ? that all guys who go to Eastman are gay. Not true. ?Nuff said.
I know that there are a lot of great stereotypes out there too.
A lot of River Campus students think, without ever having met one, that all Eastman students are really nice, intelligent and hard-working individuals. I won?t try to contest that, for fear that one of those nice, intelligent and hard-working folks might jump me on my way to class tomorrow.
When it comes to making generalizations, try to leave the sweeping to the janitors.
All UR students are fundamentally the same but at the same time too unique to ever put into a category.
Weiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.