Letters to the Editors

No hypocrisy in frosh song, cheers

Dear Editors,

Re: “Cheer ban hypocritical” (Journal, Sept. 8, 2008)

Queen’s frosh week certainly did perk up this year, but not in the sense that was suggested by the editorial that appeared in Tuesday’s issue of the Journal. The editorial suggests that the 2012 frosh dance “Jerk it Out” by The Caesars was “explicitly sexual.” Listen to the first few lyrics and you’ll soon realize that it has everything to do with coming to university for the first time and that the chorus line, “jerk it out,” actually means “just start dancing.” In addition, the cartoon appearing next to the editorial was inaccurate. It depicts people performing the traditional thrust to the line “jerk it out;” however this move was specifically avoided during those lyrics so that the “just start dancing” message wasn’t twisted into something else.

On the issue of the “beer cheer,” it’s true that most first years have been exposed to alcohol before coming to university. Some, however, are still uncomfortable with the issues surrounding alcohol and would rather not cheer about it at the top of their lungs. It was decided, therefore, that the traditional cheer about drinking should be changed to one related more to what our frosh week stands for—welcoming new students to Queen’s. This is not because first years are being treated like children.

I also take issue with any notion that we are avoiding a very prominent issue in our community. The editorial states there is no opportunity to discuss these issues during the week. What it fails to mention is that ASUS frosh week includes speakers and performance groups from Queen’s Health Services, Posse, Existere and the Kingston police. A frosh song is chosen every year so that first-years can all share something with each other, despite only having met a few days before – to let inhibitions go and just dance. Let’s not let some individuals’ disappointment with the loss of the “beer cheer” get in the way of welcoming new students to this community.

Jena Hall

ArtSci ’10

Member, ASUS Orientation Committee

Dear Editors,

Re: “Cheer ban hypocritical” (Journal, Sept. 8, 2008)

If having a dry Orientation Week and banning cheers about drinking is hypocritical as the editorial suggests, then what would you call running a dry Orientation Week while cheering about all the individuals involved being intoxicated? Is the beer cheer really a tool that “might create the proper momentum to discuss alcohol issues”? A bit of reporting may have revealed that there are several Orientation events which address issues including alcohol use and healthy sexuality in a frank manner from both the perspectives of students and health professionals.

The article cites the alcohol ban as being ineffective, but the only evidence offered is that there were intoxicated first-year students in Kingston last week. The author should have considered the purpose of the ban before deeming it ineffective. The ban stipulates that Orientation leaders do not drink alcohol or be intoxicated around first-years. The ban also ensures that every Orientation Week event is a dry event. While I was not everywhere during Orientation Week, from what I saw, the ban was effective in achieving both goals. The presence of intoxicated first years gives no evidence to the effectiveness of the ban, as it does not prohibit them from drinking. As for a lack of implementation, that suggestion is ridiculous; as the article pointed out, cheers about alcohol have been banned, and the Orientation Leaders sign a contract agreeing to not consume alcohol or be intoxicated around first years, which is enforced by the Orientation Executives.

As for the “explicitly sexual song” of the ASUS Orientation Week, “Jerk It Out” by The Caesars contains no sexual references anywhere in the lyrics. The name of the song simply means “dance.” If the Journal intends to criticize Orientation Week, ORT, SOARB or the practices of any of these bodies, I suggest they check their facts and stick to them, rather than publishing their own misinformed opinions.

Paul Ricketts

ArtSci ’10

Member, ASUS

Orientation Committee

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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