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Hearst: Rising with the pack

In Hearst, Inside on October 15, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Hearst season is upon us. As we scramble to find/write articles, I thought I would post the IU stories that placed last year. First up is the ambiguous “Feature” category. Brian Spegele placed third with “Rising with the pack,” a story that ran in Inside magazine.

BRIAN SPEGELE (INSIDE)

Erin Andrews is naked on a Monday night on the fifth floor of Briscoe-Gucker. In fact, the ESPN sportscaster, who was secretly videotaped in her hotel room this summer, may well be naked every night, thanks to LimeWire and Google Video.

Four freshman boys are sitting knee-to-knee on a couch made for three, in a room made for two. There’s a can of nearly empty Coors Light on the ground. Greasy Styrofoam plates are strewn about the floor. “Monday Night Football” commentary drones in the background.

“Tits! tits! tits!” they are chanting at a $1,700 MacBook Pro, which is streaming the pixilated peephole video. No doubt just a few weeks ago freshmen across the country were lobbying their parents for the highest-end laptop model.

Freshman dorms are a self-contained world for the thousands of IU students living in them. Governance is established early. Social credos emerge. Even the vernacular, while still English, changes upon entering this world. Much of the dialect centers on references to female genitalia, sexual intercourse, and verbiage developed to describe drinking cheap beer.
Smash.
Bong.
Shotgun.
Kill.

It’s a world that combines summer camp camaraderie, “Big Brother” drama, the Playboy mansion wardrobe, and “Lord of the Flies” anarchy. But in the words of floor dwellers, the first month of college is a time for growing up. It’s a time for building lifelong friendships. It’s a chance to simply worship the thrill of being 18 and free.

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