Big Sibs to the Rescue
September 25th, 2002
Freshman Friday: a strange myth to some, but a terrible truth to others. Long has been the yearly ritual of bullying newly made Stuyvesant students.
What is the harm of Freshman Friday, one may ask? To some degree, many upperclassmen are wont to vent their superiority, whether it be via the friendly tips on “how to survive at Stuy” or the senior bar. But Freshman Friday is when this sense of superiority gets out of hand and takes the form of violence or threats. It is not something to be brushed aside lightly.
The truth is that many ghastly acts—from freshmen being egged to having rubber cement or gum put in their hair—take place on Freshman Friday. Many in the Stuy community have been filled with shock or disbelief. So why haven’t these antics been stopped? What point is there in torturing freshmen because of a three-year age difference?
One sophomore remarked disgustedly, “Freshman Friday is just an old tradition that needs to end. It's kind of stupid hazing freshmen just for the hell of it.” Indeed, one would think that a “smart” school like Stuyvesant would house people with some sense of decency. Yet, for years, the administration’s attempts to stop Freshman Friday with empty threats of suspending offending seniors have been largely unsuccessful.
There is a gleam of hope for the future freshmen of Stuyvesant, though. This year, the Big Sibs began their own crackdown on Freshman Friday. To discourage upperclassmen from picking on the freshmen, the Big Sib Chairs declared that Big Sibs who participated in Freshman Friday would be booted from the program.
“I was horrified at the thought of any Big Sib recruiting for or attending Freshman Friday, because the Big Sibs are here to make sure freshmen have an easy time adjusting to Stuy and protect them from anything like Freshman Friday,” Big Sib Chair Jenny Mathews said. She added, “We also hope to work with the administration and find a way to prevent any Freshman Fridays in the future.”