It’s extremely normal for University campuses to have parties to usher in the newly admitted students (popularly known as freshers) . These freshers have just landed in an institution where they see endless possibilities and they dream of achieving their goals.
But to the shock of their lives, what happens at the freshmen party can be life-changing. Some, while having fun, get intoxicated, robbed and even raped.
Girls get raped by being coaxed into dark corners inside and outside of the party venue; or are taken back to the men’s hostels while totally drunk.
Will this menace ever end considering the number of students who get admitted each year?
We all know that the morals of the young people in society are tough to streamline. Many subscribe to a society of YOLO – you only live once and “It’s my life” so I make the rules!
YOLO – you only live once and “It’s my life”
The rape cases as I have learned from students from a leading university rarely get followed up. They just happen, the institutions are believed to know about; but after the “fresher” parties, everybody just moves on with life. The parties are normally organized by the institutions but it seems that what happens at the venue is non of the organizers’ business.
“I basically did not attend any of the parties in my four years in campus. I think it depends on your upbringing. You can come from a family where you are warned not to attend such events,” says Richard, a new graduate who is out looking for a job. He says that the best way to avoid such scenarios is to have a trustworthy group of friends to go out with. That’s one of the solutions to this menace.
“I basically did not attend any of the parties in my four years in campus. I think it depends on your upbringing. You can come from a family where you are warned not to attend such events,”
“We used to organize a particular day and go out. We always watched each others’ back,” Jane, who is accompanied by her friends for this interview reveals. She opines that it is one of the best ways to go about it.
Alfred, one of my interviewees says that a student’s upbringing has a large role to play.
“I’ll definitely warn my kids when they are growing up. I’ll inform them of the potential danger beforehand,” he says thoughtfully. Although it’s straightforward, this is one of the crucial basics that parents ignore. They do not openly discuss morals with their children. It is a big flaw in the Kenyan household.
When I asked them about why older students go for younger students, they laughed hysterically and responded:
“Si unajua.” (see you know; it’s obvious)
When I pressed them some more they metaphorically said that when a car gets old, the owner goes for a newer model.
Not all the cases of rape happen on the night of the “fresher” party.
Some guys approach girls on that day and offer to show them around campus and help them settle in. They befriend them; telling them about the vices that happen on campus. This is often about being conned, mistreated or being introduced to alcohol.
The prey warm up to these “well meaning, considerate” men and begin to trust them. But of course, the mean are just after sex.I personally know a girl who got admitted to a leading private university in early 2013.
Mpasho Investigates Parties Of Misery Part 3: “Fresher University Parties Are New, Experimental and Imperfect – Frank Njenga”
In her first week, she met a fourth year student who proceeded to court her. Within a month, she moved in with him as he was just about to graduate and had gotten a job. They became sexually active and within the first three months in campus she was pregnant. The boyfriend told her to abort and she did. They never used protection and to make matters worse, he was a sex addict!
One year passed by and they started having problems. This was just after the girls’ parents had discovered that she had gotten married to the man at a District Officer’s office.
After a while the man began to cheat on her and after several brawls that nearly turned violent, dejected and alone she quite campus and went back to her parents home in Nakuru.
It was a while before she could go back to school but because the University had discontinued her for absenteeism, she had to settle for a commercial college. She had to start afresh after losing years and her dignity.
Most of the students I spoke to refused to appear on camera but one female student did; and narrated how these things are done: