Posts Tagged “Partying”
The George Washington University is cracking down on large parties.
After a number Greek-life groups held unregistered parties on campus, the University began to place heavy sanctions on non-compliant organizations.
According to the GW Hatchet, the requirement was spawned by Student Activities Center Director Tim Miller after he drove past a number of very large, very unregistered parties last August.
Although not cited as one of the reasons for the heightened enforcement, the death of sophomore Taylor Hubbard, who fell out of a dormitory window last May, may also factor into the decision. (A medical examiner was unable to determine the manner of Hubbard’s death and is not allowed to release any information regarding his blood alcohol content at the time of the fall.)
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Spring is in the air, and Burleith residents are concerned that the noise from partygoing Georgetown students is, too. So the Burleith Citizens Association has offered new a way to combat students students’ noise and “nuisance properties”—a database where residents can make their complaints about noisy, unkempt, or trash-filled properties a ‘historical record.’
In an e-mail to the Burleith listserv, BCA President Lenore Rubino advised residents to call 911 in addition to Georgetown’s party-busting service, the Student-Neighbor Assistance Program, when they want to report a noise problem. (“MPD has always advised us to use 911.”) But she also said that residents should use a new e-mail address to make an additional record of the problem house.
“Document what happened by sending an email to the BCA at
firstname.lastname@example.org,” she wrote. “This new email will enable the BCA to maintain an historical database of all calls and events.” The database, the BCA said, would give neighbors a way to provide additional oversight on noise issues when talking to the Metropolitan Police Department and the Georgetown administration.
“Try to include as much information (address, time, description of noise). While the BCA welcomes photographs and videos, please make sure you follow privacy laws,” Rubino wrote, recommending the Wikipedia page for “Photography and the law.”
Meanwhile, the University is preparing for Spring partying, too. On March 24, Anne Koester, the director for Student Affairs, sent an e-mail out to the Georgetown community reminding residents of SNAP’s services.
Photo from Flickr user Ivy Dawned used under a Creative Commons license.
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At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, the Metropolitan Police Department began party patrols to monitor Burleith and West Georgetown from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. five nights a week, including weekend nights, according to e-mails exchanged between Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and MPD Second District officers.
Michelle Milam, who at the time was lieutenant of the PSA in which Georgetown is located (PSA 206), said that the patrols were concentrated in Burleith, where the majority of complaints were coming from. That concerned ANC Commissioner Ron Lewis, who said his West Georgetown constituents were just as disturbed by the noise as Burleith residents. He wrote:
[P]lease, let’s end these back and forth e-mails … Just tell us, please, short and simple, that there will be equal patrolling by the “party patrol” officers in west Georgetown and Burleith.”
Milam replied, “Yes, there will be active patrolling in all parts of Georgetown by PSA 206 members.”
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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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The University enacted a new set of party rules this month that could take the fun out of any campus-dwelling student’s weekend. And what’s more, it seems they timed the release to avoid the predictable student backlash: Making the announcement in the midst of finals, they new students would be too busy to actively oppose it, even as seniors—probably the most knowledgable and invested students at school—are leaving and in time to convince incoming freshmen that this is the way it’s always been. Rest assured that the Voice will be editorializing about and covering this issue heavily next fall; one hopes that prompt action from students and GUSA will result in a more acceptable set of rules, ala this school year’s keg ban debate. While parties may seem silly in light of all the other things students are up to, they’re an important part of the Georgetown experience and one of the few things we actually have some say over. See the letter from Dean of Students Todd Olson and some more commentary after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
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Check out this article from last week’s Washington Post Style section. Aside from being total common sense – college students like to have fun? – it also implies that Georgetown is, well, not fun, at least by the traditional (read: partying) standard:
“What a student at Louisiana State University thinks is fun might be very different than what a student at Georgetown thinks,” a writer from the Princeton Review said.
While I am prone to being unnecessarily defensive, I think it’s pretty safe to say that LSU isn’t the uptight, all-work-no-play school in that equation.
Posted by Anna Bank, News Editor
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After you read the Voice’s editorial about improving DPS training and working conditions after last weekend’s startling events, consider the campus-wide e-mail sent this morning.
It seems the university response is:
1. More DPS officers around at night.
2. More ResLife staffers milling about dorms and apartments.
3. Senior university officials milling about campus late at night.
While I’m not entirely sure what a senior university official or ResLife staffer can do stop a man wielding a pipe, it’s understandable that some stepped-up efforts would be made. It’s the thinly-veiled warning that parties aren’t going to last as long that follows that is a bit troubling.
I’m not trying to advocate for partying like idiots, but I also don’t want martial law on Georgetown’s campus. The warnings against holding large parties and advertising on Facebook seem less like innocuous advice and more like a threat that parties will be broken up more readily than before. The danger of this becoming a de facto on-campus curfew is obvious.
While we, as students, should appreciate the stepped-up safety efforts, we need to remember a couple of things. First, we live in a city where crime is going to happen no matter what. Severely limiting it is a reasonable goal; stamping it out is an impossibility. Second, violent crime has long been the exception, not the rule, on the average weekend. While we never want to see a repeat the events of this past weekend, we also should remember-and feel lucky-that they don’t occur too often.
In the end, we should heed the words of Benjamin Franklin – “Those who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Posted by Mike Stewart, Feature Editor
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