Comparable to South Beach?

By Angela Loiacono

I used to pick up the Chicago Sun-Times now and then. Sometimes the Chicago Tribune was a little too big and all the Daily Heralds were gone. But my rather laid-back opinion of the paper was severely tainted on March 18. That sentiment was reaffirmed on the 20th. And on the 21st, I lost some respect for Sun-Times reporters Andrew Herrmann and Lori Rackl. Writing a series of stories discussing sex on college campuses, the two writers chose Kam’s and the University of Illinois as sample space number one.

In spending what seems to be one night inside the confines of the Campustown bar, the writers apparently felt as though they gained a perspective into the entire University and its sexual escapades. Talk about judging a book by its cover. I didn’t know it was within Sun-Times protocol to take a perspective and run with it. Or in their case, write a three-part series based on it.

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I was offended by this article and its attempts at labeling the University as a sex-filled, promiscuous campus. Not everyone that attends this school goes out to the bar dressed like a skank and on the prowl for someone to take to bed. Sure, there are some students who find this to be their common Saturday night, but that doesn’t warrant the branding we got. I don’t know how this article made it to print either. Some portions read like an erotic novel. Portions of the article discussing women rubbing their breasts together and men dancing with their faces below the navel of women are distasteful and give the wrong impression of many students.

Now it’s news to me, but apparently the inside of Kam’s can now be compared to Miami’s South Beach. I was a little surprised. That wasn’t exactly my first impression of the sticky-floored, cramped, old bar on Daniel Street. And while I have occasionally seen more than I would like to of a couple’s “intimate moments” at a bar, I don’t think these writers could have exaggerated the whole situation any more. While the Sun-Times is busy depicting a single night out, the other 39,850 people that attend the University are doing something else. Why didn’t the writers talk about them?

I don’t think I’ve ever been more disgusted while reading a piece of journalism – just for the fact that this piece is one-sided and utterly biased. The writers make insane judgments about people and their actions. They make it seem as though everyone inside the bar drinks themselves stupid and looks for someone to go home with so they can have sex. Oh, and by the way, apparently dating someone exclusively is a thing of the past.

The stereotypes that are uncovered and enforced in this article are also disturbing. While many of the quotes come exclusively from fraternity men and sorority women, they are labeled as men who go out to get play with random girls every night and women who are consistently looking for a man to have sex with. Did the writers happen to talk to more than two men and two women? Where is the other half of the story depicting all the fraternity brothers and sorority sisters who are in committed relationships, or who just go out to have fun with some friends?

In an article full of bold, and at times unjustified, comments, I can’t help but feel like every word that was printed needs to be checked. As the story closes, the writers depict people on their cell phones – solely for a booty call. Did they walk around the bar asking everyone who they were talking to and if they were trying to find a bed to sleep in that night? I don’t think so. Not only is the piece ridiculous and exaggerated, it does a horrible job of showing all aspects of college sex life. The next time the Sun-Times decides it’s going to do a story on college campuses, it should really be sure it tells the correct story – and all sides of it.

Angela Loiacono is a sophomore in LAS. Her columns run Fridays. She can be reached at [email protected]