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I had the opportunity to sit down with The DePauw’s advice column, Ask Room 15. These three students are dedicated to tackling the tough issues on campus that not a lot of people want to talk about, encouraging students to be themselves, saying what no one else will say, and ripping away the guise surrounding DePauw’s Greek life/party culture. If you find yourself needing some honest advice after reading this, just email features@depauw.com with your question!

HerCampus: Hey Room 15, thanks for sitting down with HerCampus!

Columnist 1: Absolutely!

HC: So how did you guys come up with the idea for Room 15?

Columnist 2: It started out as a group message one day as a joke.

Columnist 3: We think we give really funny, unrestricted advice and I did not think [The DePauw] would take me up on it, but they did.

HC: So what kind of advice do you guys give? What sets you apart from a typical advice column? 

C1: It's not bullsh*t. There’s no point in distorting reality. I think kids read too many Cosmo advice columns and Seventeen Magazine and it's just not real.

C2: Our column has real solutions.

C3: It's very raw.

C1: Mhm, very raw, womanly advice.

C2: Matriarchal, but down to business. Tough love is key.

HC: What’s your favorite issue to discuss in your column?

C1: I love to talk about frat boys, like these questions come in and the three of us see through the persona of like frat culture and frat guys, so our goal is to get to the root of it, like, alright ladies….

C3: I also feel like we voice a lot of what people are too afraid to admit to themselves about fraternity life and fraternity parties. A lot of women are uncomfortable in fraternity houses and their parties, but they don’t voice that out of fear almost, but we would like to be that voice.

C1: Right, because the women have to appear to go along with it.

C2: And fit into the social culture--

C3: --that fraternities want them to fit into, it’s a giant circle.

HC: Yeah, I definitely can see what you're talking about. Now DePauw’s campus is very small, do you think the size plays a role in this?

C3: Definitely! It's embedded into the system at DePauw, like you can’t ignore Greek life in any facet.

C2: And even in dating life, when a girl is dating a guy on campus he usually ends up being a fraternity guy because that’s how it is. You don’t usually get someone talking about their independent boyfriend.

C3: Not only that, but the whole system is very heteronormative; there’s definitely a relationship that’s forced because of DePauw’s system of having sororities and fraternities put together automatically.

C1: Yeah, like I love dissecting a good ol’ frat party, like have you ever sat around and thought that we go to get drunk so we can dance, so we can just have men stand around us? They don’t even dance with us.

C3: Just the male gaze.

C2: It’s also like, “you will come and you will drink my alcohol, you will wear typically what I want you to wear, you will be surrounded by the people I want you to be surrounded by”; it’s a very controlling situation.  Like we received a text from a fraternity inviting us over for a playboy party, they were like, "in remembrance of Hugh Hefner’s passing”, who they cited as a “legend.”

C3: a man to be respected --

C2: a man to be respected, a man who will watch over us as we party the way he would have wanted us to party. And it was just kind of like…

C3: a slap in the face,

C2: because [Hugh Hefner] drugged women, he assaulted and abused them and it’s like, that’s how [frats] want to party with women? And it wasn’t a joke, they’d like to say it was a joke but it wasn’t; they’d totally love scantily clad women dressed as bunnies to show up because they love the control.

C1: And some girls would show up!

C3: And there’s a difference between doing it for yourself, like showing up because you want to show up that way, and doing it for guys.

HC: Do you have any advice for the girls out there?

C3: Be courageous to do something for yourself, not for other people.

C1: But also step back and think about what you're doing and why you're doing it. Definitely do what you want, but make sure it's what YOU want.

C2: Yes, because you want to; don’t bend to societal pressures.

HC: You are so right! And thank you so much for your time tonight, I’ll be sure to keep a look out for your awesome advice in The DePauw that issues every Wednesday! 

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