Speak UP challenges hook up culture

Mamta Badlani, Contributing Writer

For many young adults, college is a time of independence characterized by experiences at parties or all-nighters at the library. Yet traditional romance may be in the decline these days, replaced by a series of hookups lacking real meaning.

On March 30, the peer education group Speak UP Bucknell hosted an event, “Hooking Up?! ’Cause everyone’s doing it,” in Trout Auditorium. Individuals were assigned to groups and then split off into different classrooms. Each group had only five or six members, encouraging everyone to participate.

The event was open to all students, allowing exposure to perspectives from students of different class years. The discussion focused on the visible presence of the University’s hookup culture and its effects on different relationships.

“I enjoyed the event because of how involved everyone was in the discussion. Everyone in my group wasn’t hesitant to speak truthfully and candidly about the hookup culture and the ways that we as individuals can help to eliminate the negatives about it on campus,” Sarah Forer ’18 said.

The phrase “hookup culture” often takes on a negative connotation. The “hookup culture” encompasses an era that began in the 1990s and continues to remain prominent on college campuses and elsewhere, where hooking up has replaced courtship as the preferred method of interaction.

Leaders at the group meetings prepared questions to spark discussion on the different aspects and effects of the hookup culture. Questions dealt with what really defines a “hookup,” the nonchalant attitudes people maintain, possible pressure some feel to participate, as well as whether this lifestyle is necessarily negative and, if so, ways in which students can modify it.

“At the Speak UP Bucknell open discussion, I had the opportunity to talk with upperclassmen, first-years, Greek affiliates, and students of all different backgrounds on an issue that affects us all on Bucknell’s campus—hookup culture. Whether you believe it is a good thing, bad thing, or something in between, Speak UP Bucknell’s goal this Monday was to get students together and get them talking about it, and they accomplished just that,” Kerri Harner ’18 said.

With the rise of a generation reliant on social media to stay in touch, many believe that traditional dating is in need of a serious revival and that the hookup culture is the new “norm.”

“I gained insight from the experiences of others, and as a freshman still forming my own views on hookup culture, attending this discussion was one of the most important things I’ve done all semester,” Harner said.

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