UMD cracking down on partying

After earning the dubious distinction of being ranked the 11th best party school by Playboy, the University of Maryland at College Park is mounting an effort to crack down on excessive partying this year, according to the Washington Post.  But with only 34 officers in its Department of Public Safety charged with controlling over 26,000 undergraduates, it’s a bit of a daunting task.

The force of 34 officers put up a good fight, busting dozens of parties in a matter of a few hours. The consequences of a bust can range from confiscation of alcohol to, in  rare cases, arrest, and the University often comes down hard with harsh administrative charges.

The easiest way to crack down on parties? Taking advantage of clueless freshmen:

On this Thursday night, Ecker drives through campus and the surrounding neighborhoods, easily picking out the freshmen, who travel in packs composed of nearly every person from their dorm floor.

In one such clump, everyone has a student ID around his or her neck, and a few students wear high school T-shirts. But the most obvious clue that they are freshmen? No red cups in hand, Ecker said. They haven’t learned to bring their own cups to keggers.

Additionally, the police are declaring war on a much more frightening enemy this fall: the “undesirables.” These would be the young men who gather at a popular location and harass the women walking by, especially those who are dressed up for the evening.

The harassment that normally begins as verbal assaults and gradually increases to grabbing, pinching, touching, and fondling later on in the night when traffic on the sidewalk becomes more congested. This also makes it more difficult to identify the perpetrators, some of whom are students themselves.

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