Weren’t you listening?
Letter to the Editor | Monday, December 1, 2008
This year, I participated in the creation of College HAS Issues, the annual presentation that is mandatory for all incoming freshman. Of course, HAS represents Hookups, Alcohol, and Sex, and we hoped to prevent the incoming freshman from making serious mistakes in any of these areas. Apparently, Melissa Buddie in her Nov. 19th letter concerning her own first semester at ND must have slept through my portion. I spoke for roughly fifteen minutes about … that’s right, the hook-up culture and its negative effects on the formation of lasting relationships.
The following are direct quotations of what I said to the entire freshman class this past August:
“Obviously the hookup culture is not very conducive to strong and lasting relationships. I would say that it actually impairs you in how you approach your relationships, because you are so used to doing it one way … with no strings attached and most times with alcohol. But this is not a relationship, and rarely ever can it lead to a meaningful relationship. In fact, all it ever really leads to is an awkward moment in the dining hall.”
“As I talked with other friends, over and over I heard that the outcome of hook-ups is awkward run-ins in the dining hall the day after; never talking to that person again; and that it makes relationships – even friendships – nearly impossible. You quickly realize that campus is not that big after all … really!”
“The hook-up culture creates a situation where we are not striving for real relationships; we just want what is quick and easy. The work hard/play hard mentality translates to sexual activity; in fact, sexual activity becomes just another thing to check off our “to-do list” for the week – and almost always it involves serious binge drinking.”
“Given the hook-up culture, I think many people have a skewed idea of how real relationships work. If you only go through your college career pursuing hookups, then you won’t be prepared to form successful relationships once you get out of college. From my experience, getting caught up in the hookup culture only leads to a skewed perspective on your self-value and your value of others. It’s objectification of the opposite sex, especially women.”
At the time, I had assumed that most incoming freshman were old enough and mature enough not to need such advice. But upon reading that letter, it became clear that perhaps some of us may need a friendly reminder (especially as every aspect of the harmful effects of hookups discussed was also found in what I had already said). We don’t need to run any experiments to demonstrate the harmful effects of such interactions (especially not six times). We just need to practice some common sense.