(Sorority) Girls Gone Wild

There has been an odd series of stories recently about sorority women at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio behaving in very inappropriate ways.  In two separate incidents, sororities were suspended for underage drinking, vomiting, littering, and damaging an Ohio lodge and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.  The gross behavior included a partygoer taking a dump outside the lodge during a “formal” for one of the sororities.  The most recent story involves sorority sisters traveling to and from a “formal” at the Cincinnati Zoo who left a bus strewn with trash and coated with vomit and who so berated the bus driver with obscenities that the bus driver called it quits and left the unruly coeds at a gas station.

These stories raise certain at least two obvious questions.  First, why is it called a “formal”?  Any event where people are barfing and crapping in public sounds pretty darned informal to me.  If this kind of behavior is considered appropriate for “formal” occasions, what godforsaken depraved behavior can be expected at informal events?

Second, how much of the attention given to these stories is based on the fact that sororities, and not fraternities, were involved?  More than 30 years ago, Animal House got huge laughs for its depiction of a degenerate fraternity.  Talk to any parent of a fraternity kid and you will see that the movie isn’t that much of an exaggeration.  Fraternity kids drink heavily, do stupid stunts, and trash their fraternity houses, and people shrug and say “boys will be boys.”  Stories of unruly fraternity activities are “dog bites man” stories.  We tend to expect better conduct from sensible sorority women, however — which is part of the reason why the escapades of the boozy sorority sisters at Miami University are getting national attention.

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Will The Focus Turn To Ohio Next?

A pattern seems to be emerging with respect to the recent revelations about the White House contacts with challengers in Democratic Senatorial primaries in Pennsylvania and now Colorado.  The apparent pattern is that the White House wanted to avoid contested Democratic Senatorial primaries at all costs and was willing to at least suggest potential alternative employment options if the challenger would just drop out of the race.

Another high-profile Democratic Senatorial primary, of course, occurred in Ohio, where Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner continued her challenge to Lieutenant Lee Fisher even after the party brass evidently encouraged her to stop.  I therefore wonder whether the reporters and bloggers focused on this ongoing story will soon turn their attention to Ohio to see whether the apparent pattern held true in the Buckeye State, too?

Summer Storms

Last night a cell of severe thunderstorms rolled through central Ohio and knocked out power in our neighborhood for hours.  It was our first true summer storm of the season, with all of the hallmarks of the same:  fierce winds, a torrent of rain, heavy thunder and lightning, a quick, sharp drop in the temperature, and the low moan of the “serious weather” siren in the background of it all.

There is something awesome and majestic about summer thunderstorms in the Midwest.  As Kish and I looked out our windows last night, we saw the winds bending our backyard trees and bushes almost to the breaking point, making the trees shake like believers at a revival meeting.  The storm dumped so much rain so quickly that water pooled up even on our brick patio and flower beds.  We heard the crack of lightning, felt the low, grinding throb of cascading thunder vibrating the ground, and heard the staccato beat of the gusty rain drumming against the outer walls.  Through it all, the sky had that sickly yellow color that always seems to accompany a severe storm. We were very glad to be indoors!

This morning, Penny and I ventured out to assess the aftermath of the heavy weather.  Although the storm seemed violent, it didn’t appear to do to much damage in our immediate neighborhood.  A few branches were knocked to the ground and leaves and other tree debris were scattered across the roads and walking paths, but no big trees were down.  The sky was clear and blue, and world felt cool and well washed.