Imagine you are a 17-year-old woman and it is your first day in the dorms at Cal State Long Beach.
You exit your room and cannot help but notice a cute guy plastering fliers on the bulletin boards in the common room that read “CHERRY BUST 2008: Friday, September 5th: SAE House.”
The guy turns around and you notice his shirt reads, “We’re not pulling out until the Cherry Busts! Fall 2008 Sigma Alpha Epsilon.”
“Hey,” he says and smiles. “You new?”
“Yeah,” you reply, nervously.
“You should come to the welcoming party this Friday. It’s going to be the best party of the year,” he tells you.
That Friday, you find yourself at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house with your new roommate. Someone hands each of you a cocktail in red cups and you are quickly making a lot of new friends.
The alcohol is making you much more social than usual and all of the guys from SAE are so nice that they keep handing you more drinks. At some point, you and your roommate get separated and she is nowhere to be found.
The next day you wake up in a room you’ve never seen before and you don’t remember anything from the night before.
This hypothetical scenario helps to demonstrate just how dangerous this party can be. Mind you, this situation could be any college party. So what sets the Cherry Bust apart from the others?
Well, what does it mean to “bust a cherry,” or “hit it,” “tap it,” or “bang her” for that matter? Even the idea of “doing a chick” implies that the woman involved is being somehow conquered, is not participating, and in many cases, is being violently “screwed.”
In thinking about language, the idea of “busting” a piece of a woman’s body just does not sound mutual or consensual.
It definitely does not sound enjoyable for the human person that has been “busted.” We at the Women’s Studies Student Association have initiated an educational campaign to inform both women and men of the potential consequences of this party.
Surely, the party could just be a harmless and fun way to welcome new students to CSULB. We are not condemning the act of drinking, nor of having sex; these two acts can be enjoyable in a non-threatening social environment.
But this party is hostile toward women and is thrown with the intent to rape. Allow us to clarify: the legal definition of rape as per the California penal code prohibits sexual intercourse “when the person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs.”
In other words, you are a rapist if you get a girl — or any person — drunk and have sex with her/him. Sure, it’s possible that no one will be raped.
But if everyone is informed of the possible danger, and armed with the legal definition of rape, hopefully some illegal acts will be prevented — that would mean our campaign was successful.
The WSSA is affiliated with the Long Beach Sexual Assault Crisis Agency (SACA) and three members are state certified rape crisis counselors. If you have been sexually assaulted, please call the 24-hour sexual assault crisis hotline at 562-989-5900.