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Saturday, June 3, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Laxers, Sorority Girls & the Booze-Fueled Culture

Janet Reitman Janet Reitman of Rolling Stone Magazine visits Duke looking for sex, drugs, and lacrosse players. She finds it all. Lacrosse players, sorority girls and the booze-fueled culture of the never-ending hookup on the nation's most embattled college campus:

This is not just any fraternity party -- it's a "foam party," a sweaty, alcohol-soaked bacchanalia that's a little like taking an enormous bubble bath with hundreds of strangers. At Duke, where crackdowns on the previously party-hearty on-campus social environment have forced much of the scene off-campus, foam parties are promoted by frats as large, open-to-everyone events, and can either be totally fun or totally gross, depending on how drunk you are.

Tonight, just about everyone is drunk. Tiny soap bubbles that have been shot through a thick rubber hose into a mesh tent outside the bar cling to dozens of dancing kids. For Duke students, Shooters is usually the last stop on the bar-hopping circuit -- the place you go when you're almost too wasted to walk....

''Laxers,'' as lacrosse players are universally known, tend to be the most desired and most confident guys on campus. They're fun. And they're hot. It's something that frustrates and often baffles other young men, particularly those who've had girlfriends stolen by these guys. But women understand. "It's a BMOC thing," Sarah says. She's undecided about the rape charges but is much more certain about the boys. "They have it all -- you want a part of that,"
Sex & Scandal at Duke [RollingStone.com, June 2, 2006]

Duke High School [ Laura Zweiner | DukeChronicle.com, Feb. 17, 2006]
DukeObsrvr.com - The Dirty Truth About Duke

updated: June 24, 2006

The Duke Chronicle responds - Controversial article targets social scene:
In an interview Wednesday, Reitman said she had originally included statistics about Duke's demographics and other facts in the article that made it clear that the students described were not representative of Duke's entire social scene.

"I had made it clear it wasn't all of Duke," Reitman said of her earlier drafts. "I distinguished the group as a very small number of a larger whole."

Like Foran and her mother, many people have expressed concern over elements of the article. Sue Wasiolek, dean of students, said she has received a large number of e-mails regarding the story's portrayal of the student body.

"It has clearly gotten the attention of a lot of people-from students to parents, alumni and the outside world," Wasiolek said. "What makes stories like that one misleading and dangerous is that they lead the reader to believe it is the norm."

Wasiolek is not alone in calling the article unrepresentative. On a message board on Rolling Stone's website, junior Bronwyn Lewis wrote a 2,795-word criticism of the media's portrayal of Duke in the Rolling Stone piece and elsewhere that would likely comfort Foran.

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