Sex And Scandal At Duke | JANET REITMAN
Lacrosse players, sorority and the booze-fueled culture of the never-ending hookup on the nation’s most embattled college campus
On A night in late April, barely a month after the rape allegations that have rocked the campus of Duke University, the brothers of Delta Tau Delta, one of the school’s top fraternities, are having a party at Shooters, a Durham, North Carolina, dive just south of the Duke campus. It’s a Saturday evening, and the men are celebrating spring: a new class of freshly initiated brothers, the imminent end of the school year, warm weather, girls in halter tops. It’s 1.A.M., and everyone’s covered in bubbles.
This is not just any fraternity party it’s a “foam party,” a sweaty, alcohol soaked bacchanalia that’s a little like taking an enormous bubble bath with hundreds of strangers. At Duke, where crackdowns on the previously party-hearty on-campus social environment have forced much of the scene off-campus, foam parties are promoted by frats as large, open-to-everyone events, and can either be totally fun or totally gross, depending on how drunk you are.
Tonight, just about everyone is drunk. Tiny soap bubbles that have been shot through a thick rubber hose into a mesh tent outside the bar cling to dozens of dancing kids. For Duke students, Shooters is usually the last stop on the bar-hopping circuit – the place you go when you’re almost too wasted to walk. It’s a grimy spot with an L-shaped bar, some dance platforms, video screens, a few picnic tables and a white alabaster horse that rears on its hind legs under a sign that reads WILD, WILD WEST.