By Navneet Arora:
I was scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook a few days ago and I saw that a lot of my juniors got into their respective colleges and were ‘feeling excited’.
There are loads of expectations in your mind from the much anticipated college life. Since you come with a clean slate, nobody knows you and vice versa, there is uncertainty in your mind and cautiousness in your demeanour. It is the fresher’s party that provides a chance to remove these uncertainties and welcomes the newest and nervous members to life in college. Characterised with themes, dress code, performances, talent hunts, beauty pageants and lots of dancing, they help the fucchas to shed their inhibitions and get to know each other. Well, one does expect all of this when it comes to Delhi University at least.
Some colleges are famous for their fresher’s party, like Shri Ram College of Commerce and Sri Venkateswara College. In 2014, SRCC held two official fresher parties in the college campus itself, ethnic and rain dance. “It includes a cultural program in the college auditorium, a Talent Hunt for Mr. and Ms. Fresher, followed by DJ. On the day of the rain dance as well, there is a separate talent hunt,” says Kashish Anand, 2nd year student from SRCC.
However, the entire point of holding a Fresher’s party is to allow the juniors to create a rapport with each other and their seniors. But is that even happening? Some believe the idea of rain dance and holding two fresher parties as an utter wastage of resources.
The fresher’s party is closely followed by the University elections so student unions use this as an opportunity to consolidate their vote banks. They give away movie tickets, tickets to adventure parks and also organize many unofficial freshers’ parties at popular lounges to win favour of the students. These parties turn out to be typical lounge parties with dim lights, loud music, sometimes alcohol and snacks. In this context, one is reminded of a raid on a freshers’ party in a pub in Gurgaon in 2013, where a lot of students, some of them underage, were caught drinking. There was a general fear after that and students became aversive to attend the unofficial event.
There are also other reasons why many prefer to skip these lounge parties. Ravneet Kaur, a graduate from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce 2014 batch, says, “The lounge is cramped because there are so many people. Everyone hardly gets the snacks that are served. So it turns out to be a waste of money.”
Some colleges conduct ‘fashion shows’ or ‘beauty pageants’ which some believe can be a ‘fun activity’, but quite a few people are simply against this idea. Ganita Dahiya, a 2nd year student from Lady Shri Ram College says, “Rather than serving the purpose of breaking the ice among students, it might create unnecessary insecurities and sometimes not-so-healthy competition which might lead to misunderstandings about other people. And being judgmental might deprive us from the chance of knowing them.”
In a lot of cases students find these parties far from fulfilling their purpose. This has even made them come back to the idea of a freshers’ party in the college itself. However, everyone maintains that it needs to be an innovative and creative activity where students get a chance to bond with their new classmates and seniors.
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