The saying “boys will be boys” seems to carry a lot of weight. Regardless if a male is five or 25, the idea of an impish boy just being foolish offers an excuse for plenty of things. When does that excuse go too far? Chalking a man’s actions up to boyish immaturity is a practice that goes on far too often.
In many people’s eyes, college-age males are stuck between being boys and men. I believe the 17 to 19 year old men entering college are just that – men. In the eyes of the law, many of those men are legal adults, so why do so many get away with acting like children?
I understand it is wrong to assume the majority of men in college act irresponsibly, but the idea of one bad egg spoiling the bunch is true. Regardless of their year in school, it is not difficult to find men acting like boys on a college campus.
Boys to men on campus
I don’t have to look too far to find the same entitlement supported by immaturity because it’s present on campus. Preteen pranks and immature jokes run rampant through classrooms and residence halls.
It would be unfair to say that every male student on campus fits into the mold, but it is hard to ignore the actions of those who do. Breaking policy while running wild off campus is the core issue with the neighbors who surround the campus. The sense of entitlement to act like a boy provides an excuse to scream through the quad at 2 a.m., run from Public Safety after violating policy and vomit in various public places.
From out-of-control partying to ripping down posters in hallways, the instances are often ignored by most of my peers. Rather than questioning the phallic symbol drawn on a white board, another excuse is made and the men are let off the hook. The crude drawing isn’t rightfully viewed as destruction of property, but rather another boyish joke.
Some may say this isn’t the real world – it is only college. In my opinion, the line between university life and the real world is very thin. If male students aren’t learning to take responsibility for the bulletin boards they rip down, when will they really learn to grow up?
Ivy league lads
Recently on the Yale University campus, fraternity members have been scolded for disrupting the college environment. Pledges from the Delta Kappa Epsilon’s Phi chapter yelled shocking chants about rape during the night outside of a freshman dorm.
Fortunately, the men were able to be held accountable on a national scale thanks to a YouTube video showing the acts. CNN covered the story and opened the discussion to the public. I was surprised to find some people chalking the situations up to the men simply being “frat boys.”
The actions of those men challenged the safety of the young men and women living in their dorms. Those men knew very well how inappropriate their chants were, but chose to say them anyway. Simply saying boys will be boys isn’t enough.
The mentality of the public needs to change. We should no longer see college males as boys who will one day graduate into manhood. Men entering college have had years of education and upbringing and know right from wrong. Boys will be boys, but men should act their age.
Gina Dolski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.