by Stephanie Masucci
“I’m not saying to be like me,” said 22-year-old Ruthie during her speech to promote alcohol awareness week last Thursday night.
“The Real World: Hawaii” cast member has been making appearances at colleges all over the United States since the series ended its television run on MTV last summer.
The Real World is a show where “seven strangers get picked to live in a house, and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop getting polite and start getting real.”
“They tape 3,000 hours of our lives, and they only air 8 hours on television,” said Ruthie when explaining why nobody can really say they “know” a cast member. Ruthie entered the show as the only native-born Hawaiin cast member on the show.
“When I came on the show all of my roommates thought I would be able to show them around but I am from the other side of the island,” said Ruthie.
She was just as clueless to the neighborhood as her roommates were and she mentioned that she may have only been picked for the show because of her Hawaiian background.
Ruthie, a triplet, was raised by a foster family until she moved away to school. Her family refused to pay for her education and her grandmother stated that she would never make it through college. Ruthie attended Rutgers University and when she became a sophomore she called her grandmother up and told her that she “did make it.” Ruthie took a semester off at Rutgers to be on “The Real World.”
To become a Real World cast member there is a lengthy process one must follow which starts with the sending in of a tape.
Ruthie missed the cutoff date so she called MTV and told them that they must have lost her tape, since she had sent it in before. They asked her to send in a tape immediately so it could be reviewed. She was called one week later and they conducted an interview over the phone while viewing her look and actions through a video camera.
Ruthie was asked to tell everything about herself to see how “willing I was to open myself up.” She remembered how emotional she got when they asked her about her mother and she said that they like to see you show such emotions as crying real tears.
When the Real World cast comes together it is said that they have a honeymoon period before things started getting rough.
“My honeymoon ended the second night,” said Ruthie with a slight laugh.
The second night on the show Ruthie consumed so much alcohol that she was unable to walk and her eyes were rolling behind her head. Her roommates took her home and tried to revive her by putting her under cold water in the shower. They called an ambulance and she was rushed to the emergency room while having her stomach pumped.
She didn’t remember any of the events from that night so when she saw the show on television she was shocked to see herself so out of control.
“I had only heard about what had happened to me from what my roommates told me. When I saw myself on TV I cried,” Ruthie said.
Throughout the show, Ruthie’s reckless behavior worsened. She drove intoxicated, threw glass objects on the ground, yelled at her roommates and would wake up the next morning with no recollection of the previous night. Her roommates saw her outrageous and frequent drinking as the first signs of alcoholism.
They kicked her off the show for a month so she could seek professional help. After a month of treatment, she came back to finish the show.
Ruthie came to Cabrini to help students realize the dangers of excessive drinking. She pointed out that a statistic shows that 80% of college students have sex and 60% of them have sex while under the influence. She said to use precautions since most people do things that they would not do if they were sober.
When she was a freshman at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, she and a group of her friends put one of their friends to bed since she had too much to drink that night. They left the door unlocked and would check on her periodically. The next morning they realized that she had been raped in between one of their checks.
A member of the football team walked into her room and raped this girl that he was friendly with. She never even knew it happened until she woke up the next morning in pain and with her underwear on backwards.
“I’m not saying not to drink,” Ruthie said. “I’m just saying be careful.”