At the risk of jeopardizing U.S.-U.K. relations, we'd like to humbly put forward that American parties have NOTHING on the wildly inappropriate shindigs going on across the Atlantic during “Freshers” or Orientation Week. Think extremely off-color rape-joke parties, stripper-themed affairs sponsored by the universities themselves, and events called “bad taste parties.”
First comes these tidbits, from an event at an unnamed U.K. school, which you have to think would cause at least a dozen lawsuits if it were to happen in the States:
Another message came from a student distressed about the inclusion of a “Slag ‘n’ Drag” themed club night as part of the freshers’ week festivities at the University of York. The university’s student newspaper, Nouse, describes the event as “the one night of Freshers ‘…where a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it’”. It goes on to say that “the girls rock out in their best bra and French knicker combo [sic]”.
Meanwhile, female first-years at the University of Kent were “horrified” when their freshers’ week culminated in a show by a hypnotist who allegedly made them perform lap dances and told them “When you wake up, you will think he touched you up just now.”
That hypnotist sounds a bit creepy, no?
What makes the parties even more unbelievable is that many are actually condoned—and even thrown—by the school. Says a source at a U.K. school:
At my Fresher's Week we had a thing called [redacted]. The girls dressed as trashy as possible (stripper was the theme) and when we arrived at this (uni sanctioned event, just to be clear) we were given our 'stripper name' plus a shit ton of alcohol. Then we were (we were all extremely drunk at this point) taken on a pub crawl. There were rules: ex. when one of the leaders (all third and fourth year girls) called out certain buzz words we had do do different things, sometimes grab a guy and make out with him, sometimes grab a chair and pole dance blah blah blah. Oh and we were only allowed to answer to our stripper names. If we didn't we had to down our drink. Anyway, the boys were doing a 'gentleman's night out thing' and having their own pub crawl and we met up at the union at the end of the night at which point the girls' objective was to procure a guy's tie. Any means necessary. And girls were doing ridiculous things for ties. It was like this frenzy. All the girls were in this crazy mindset and they were doing ridiculous, ridiculous things. Like that kitkat thing? mild in comparison.
Something tells me that would never be listed on an American orientation schedule.
Going beyond Freshers Week, another custom we looked into is called “Bad Taste Parties.” These are relatively unknown over here, but apparently common in the U.K. The theme? Dress as offensively as humanly possible. Prince Harry was photographed attending one in 2005 dressed as a Nazi. In March, a university rugby team was disbanded after pictures leaked of the players in Joseph Kony and KKK attire. Then, there's this party alluded to in the Guardian's post on Freshers' Week events:
Another wrote: “men's hockey team had fancy dress party at Student Union bar. Theme was rape victims. So awful its [sic] unbelievable but its [sic] true”
So, rape, the KKK, and African dictators. Surely, it can't get more offensive than that! (Ah, right: 9/11 and Nazi jokes. It can always get worse.)
Via the source:
Almost all parties here are themed. And most are pretty harmless…. But yeah, there are some (generally in the more posh circles to be honest) that I have attended that have been… interesting. I think the 'crazy' ones that you are thinking about are Bad Taste Parties. And they are quite common, actually. Again, the only one that I've been to was in a very 'posh' circle. And if you use my name or any of my friends names I will NOT be best pleased but I will tell you some of the costumes. Basically, I saw the twin towers, a couple of school shooting victims, several nazis, etc
Again, we're not really in the business here of wringing our hands and saying “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” And we obviously like our British cousins. But you do have to wonder where all this is going, and how the parties have become so common. Surely, there's going to be a crackdown one day. Right?