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Students contribute to culture

Innocent or guilty of the alleged rape, it is known that lacrosse players were rowdy on the infamous night of March 13, as yelling expletives at passers-by during a stripper party would suggest.

I think that Duke students and their actions in the social scene deserve some of the blame for this behavior. Why? Because the elevation of athletes in the sexual stratosphere gives these individuals the idea that they have more behavioral freedom around women.

Many Duke girls say they suddenly find a guy more attractive when they find out he is an athlete (unless he's a golfer). Additionally, there are plenty of female Dukies who pride themselves on having hooked up with a certain number of athletes or players from a variety of teams. Clearly this does not apply to all, but I personally have listened to several girls recount which sports "they've covered," and my gut tells me some of you out there have had a similar discussion.

"I think that girls are more attracted to athletes because the title 'athlete' gives automatic prestige to separate the individual from the rest of the pack," said senior Stefan Rozycki of the men's tennis team.

Maybe so, but the title 'Chronicle Columnist' doesn't make me more attractive to women even though it separates me from the pack. So what is it that makes girls fawn over sports figures?

"This is the same way that people are attracted to celebrities, or [people] that can sing or dance for that matter," Rozycki said.

Okay, I think I get it. Any god-given talent that makes other men undeniably jealous is attractive to women.

Now don't get me wrong. Athletes work hard at what they do, but when you start elevating their status based upon natural abilities, it's like steroids for a healthy ego.

And it is this ego that allows athletes to believe they can act raucously around women. In the spring of 2005, at the Shooters night club I suddenly heard gasps, screams and laughs directed at the dancing cage above. There was an athlete, wearing nothing but a G-string, rocking back and forth for everyone to see.

During the 2004 Super Bowl, I was at a party with a halftime stripper show. The strippers made it clear that attendees could not touch them unless directed to, and all but one in the mostly drunken crowd respected their wishes. The one who needed to be restrained? A then-suspended football player, who has since transferred.

The only thing clear about what happened March 13 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. is that there was a party, there were strippers, and there were more than 40 loud, drunken lacrosse players. Of all Duke athletes, their heads might have been the most inflated because of a dedicated female following referred to as, "The Lacrosstitutes."

Rape or no rape, Duke students have played a part in making athletes believe they are on a pedestal when it comes to women.


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