OU COUSINS: ADVISORY BOARD

THIS SEMESTER I PARTOOK IN OU COUSINS AS A MEMBER ON THE ADVISORY BOARD. WE HELD THE MATCHING PARTY AS PER USUAL IN SEPTEMBER, AND AS AN ORGANIZER OF THE EVENT, THE MATCHING PARTY DEFINITELY FELT LIKE A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE. NONE OF THE MICS WERE FUNCTIONING, AND HOARDS OF INTERNATIONAL AND AMERICAN STUDENTS BEGAN TO FILL JIM THORPE MULTICULTURAL CENTRE. MYSELF AND A FEW OTHER BOARD MEMBERS SET OUT NAMETAGS, FILLED BAGS WITH POPCORN, AND ATTEMPTED TO MIX THE GROUPS OF AMERICANS AND INTERNATIONALS. THIS YEAR WE WANTED TO TRY AND MAKE THE MATCHING PROCESS EASIER AND LESS PAINFUL FOR THOSE INVOLVED. INSTEAD, WITHOUT ANY OF THE MICS WORKING AND EACH BOARD MEMBER UNINFORMED ON THE STEPS OF THE MATCHING PROCESS, WE MADE THE MATCHING PROCESS JUST PAINFUL TO LOOK AT.

 

SO, AFTER A LONG AND ARDUOUSLY CONFUSING MATCHING SESSION, STUDENTS WERE ABLE TO PAIR UP. THE BOARD MEMBERS AND I USED EXCEL SPREADSHEETS TO SIGN THE STUDENTS UP AND WE WERE ABLE TO FINISH THE MATCHING SESSION AFTER 2.5 HOURS.

 

BEING ON THE BOARD MADE ME REALIZE HOW HARD IT WAS TO ORGANIZE THESE OU COUSINS EVENTS. LISTENING TO THE EXPERIENCES OF PAST-INTERNATIONAL COUSINS AND THOSE AT THE MATCHING PARTY ALSO MADE ME COME TO THE REALIZATION THAT A LOT OF THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS COME TO OU LOOKING FOR THE TYPICAL “AMERICAN COLLEGE” EXPERIENCE– FRAT PARTIES, DRINKING AND SHOPPING EVERY WEEKEND. BUT MANY TIMES THESE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS END UP DISAPPOINTED WITH THE WHAT THEY FIND: THE FRAT PARTIES LIMITED TO ONLY THE FRAT MEMBERS AND WILLING YOUNG GIRLS, THE AMERICAN FRAT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION RIDICULOUSLY OVER-SATURATED WITH PUKE AND AN INABILITY TO DRINK SOCIALLY. THEY FIND THAT IF THEY WANT TO GET ANYWHERE, THEY NEED A CAR. THEY DISCOVER THAT THEIR IDEA OF AMERICA AS A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY AS STILL OPPORTUNE BUT FILLED WITH PARADOXES AND RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE COLLEGE COSTS.

 

SO THEIR AMERICAN COUSINS PROVIDE A MORE AUTHENTIC AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE, REVEALING THE REAL AMERICAN COLLEGE EXPERIENCE AS ONE OF MOSTLY LIBRARY NIGHTS, MARGINALLY DRUNKEN WEEKENDS, AND A WANT TO LEAVE THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY IN SEARCH OF SEMBLANCE IN ANOTHER IDENTITY THAT THEY CAN’T FIND WITHIN THE PARADOXICAL AMERICAN LIFE.

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