The Frat Party – Thursday – Day 42

September 3, 2012

I still haven’t gotten my camera charger back but it’s on the way, so please hold on a little longer!

Something starkly noticeable about Penn is the quality of the people. This was nowhere more evident than my first time meeting the overall freshman cohort at the Provost’s welcome breakfast. There I met tens of people, most of the whose names I can’t remember. However, one girl who stuck out was Anne Stack from Zimbabwe, who along with numerous others, helped to make up a large African contingent. After a brief welcome to the class of 2016, the exchange students were shuttled off to a nearby building for introductory briefings.

From here on we began NSO: “New Students’ Orientation”

The first session was an introduction to studying in the USA and special mention was given to the large Australian cohort, the biggest that was present. After forty minutes of rattling on we were then passed over to a security briefing. Penn has the second largest private police force in the United States, which after a moment’s thought, seemed quite significant. Even walking around campus, one feels secure and watched at all times, with many cameras and guards on every corner. To my knowledge the total force is over five-hundred officers serving the campus area. Following that was the Penn Traditions Picnic where I first encountered the marching band.

The Marching Band

Then back to the lecture┬átheater, ho hum. This time for a speaker on sexual conduct on campus and abuse. Nothing that made me grip to the edge of my seat. “Call It What It Is” was the overarching theme and there could be heard more than a few giggles from the auditorium which, mystified the speaker greatly.

After a brief tour of campus given by student volunteers, it was off to my room to prepare for a dinner cruise that we were to embark on in the evening. Meeting up with everyone to walk to the bus, I was dressed up in my finest and walked alongside my new japanese friend Kaya to get to the bus. We arrived at the dock and boarded ‘The Spirit of Philadelphia’ for a cruise on which there was even kosher food! My table unsurprisingly for me, was composed entirely of members of the female gender but featured a fantastic international twist with representatives from five countries on board.

Dinner and a Cruise

The rest of the cruise was dedicated to socializing, showing it off on the dance floor and, taking in the spectacular views of Philly that were to be had from the upper deck.


After we returned home, the exchange students decided that the time was ripe for our first off-campus night out on the town, which in this case meant trying to get into a frat party.

Walking down the streets next to Penn we came across numerous ‘sketchy’ frats, however none of them seemed to be taking people in. However, we followed the noise and foul smells down the street to arrive at a small, dilapidated gated house which was guarded by two built, topless blokes. When we tried to enter we were quizzed about our adherence to the night’s ‘ratio’, a sickening concept by which boys are admitted into parties on the basis of the number of girls they bring with them.

A Mess, A Frat Party

This is different to the Australian nightclub practices by the fact that it was made so explicit. The frat boys let us know that everyone was looking for some action and that we would likely spoil there chances. A charming and pretty french girl by the name of Marion dragged me in with a friend and I fulfilled the 2:1 ratio requirement. Inside was a mass of heaving, drunken bodies, swaying in a humid mixture of sweat, alcoholic vapors and smoke. Marion, a new boy she’d picked up inside and I entered the house to find the bar.

Frat Party Bar

The bar served only two things, a very strong vodka and gatorade mixture and what must be the world’s worst beer. I tried a little of both and liked neither. The only benefit being that I didn’t have to shell out anything for the pleasure of drinking and perspiring in a forsaken hellhole. Don’t get me wrong, I am very pleased I went however, the experience was almost cinematic in its adherence to the frat party stereotypes. I have since been informed that not all frat parties are that bad but, it was definitely an experience to remember.

© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney