Prefrosh Preview: Illicit activities

Below, we’ve republished Juliana Brint’s August 2009 post about “all the various vices you might be interested in engaging in during college: drinking, drugs, sex and smoking.” And here’s our disclaimer: Vox isn’t endorsing any of these activities. (And most of the advice and information came from outside sources.)


Georgetown is definitely a drinking school, and on weekends you can almost always find a party somewhere on or near campus. When going out, there’s no quicker way to be identified as a somewhat obnoxious freshman than to travel with the entirety of your floor. It’s also seen as particularly poor form to crash a party, drain the booze and leave.

At Georgetown, people generally don’t charge guests admittance to parties (a fact that will doubtlessly shock your friends who visit). However, if you find kindly upperclassmen who frequently supply you with liquor, it’s generally a good idea to reimburse them.

If you’re over 21 (or have an ID that says you are) and prefer bars, you have plenty of nearby options. Here’s the run-down:

  • Chadwicks (3205 K Street): Good happy hours and champagne brunches.
  • Epicurean (On campus, under Darnall): Offers karaoke, and you really can’t beat it for convenience.
  • Old Glory (3139 M Street): Strong drinks; the covered back porch with a bar makes it convenient for smokers.
  • Rhino (3295 M Street): Sketchy and crowded on weekends, but sells good wings
  • Smith Point (1338 Wisconsin Avenue): Bastion of prep that prides itself on having a guest list; Late Night Shots central.
  • Third Edition (1218 Wisconsin Ave): Relatively cheap; famous for having its exterior used in St. Elmo’s Fire.
  • Tombs (1226 36th Street): The closest bar to campus and almost exclusively for students, but also the strictest with IDs.

How strict a given bar is with accepting fake IDs varies from bouncer to bouncer, but generally avoid trying your fake at Smith Point, Third Edition and Tombs.

If you’re looking to procure your own spirits, the best bets are Towne (1326 Wisconsin Avenue), Wagner’s (1717 Wisconsin Avenue) and Dixie (3429 M Street; but don’t even think about using a fake at Dixie). Wisey‘s also sells beer and wine.

If you’re tired of jostling at the bar for a watered-down rum and coke or an overpriced draft beer, Booey’s is also a good bet. Its pitchers are among the cheapest around, and it is open until midnight.


Georgetown doesn’t have a huge drug scene, but there are a fair number of students who smoke pot. A gram usually goes for $20 (and an eighth runs from $50 to $60). Cheaper mids and $10 dime bags are less prevalent but around.

Most students who choose to smoke in their rooms don’t run into too many problems, so long as the doors’ cracks are properly stuffed with towels; proximity to an RA’s room or nosy neighbors could be an issue.

If you’d rather smoke outdoors, head off-campus. Typical destinations like the Village A rooftops provide little cover and are very close to the DPS office. For more recommendations, check out our 4/20 post.

There is not much of a hard drug scene on campus. Cocaine takes a long second to pot as the most popular drug at Georgetown; those who try hard enough can get small amounts of whatever contraband substance suits their fancy, but generally students who experiment beyond pot are few and far between.


As much as the administration might like to pretend we don’t, Georgetown students do have sex (well, 63% of us do, according to a survey conducted by the Voice in 2007).

As per Catholic doctrine, the University does not allow any contraceptives to be sold on campus (that ban includes facilities residing on land owned by Georgetown, like GU Hospital and Wisey’s). The Student Health Center can prescribe birth control pills for menstrual cramps or acne, but it can’t prescribe them as contraception, so you’ll have to schlep to CVS to fill the prescription.

H*yas for Choice, an unofficial pro-choice student group, hands out free condoms at its table in Red Square and in envelopes outside the doors of some club members’ dorm rooms. And while CVS is typically cited as the closest place to buy condoms, the hidden prophylactic-peddling gem is the gas station at the bottom of the Exorcist steps.

The Student Health Center does offer STI testing, but you’ll have to pay for it. The most convenient place to get tested for free is the Whitman-Walker Clinic at 1701 14th Street.

If you think you might be pregnant, you can pick up a free pregnancy test from Health Education Services (located at 207 Village C West). Georgetown also provides counseling through Pregnancy Services and a confidential cell phone hotline (202 870-1666), which you can call or text with questions.

While Pregnancy Services can discuss your options with you, they “stop short of aiding and abetting abortion,” according to Health Education Services Director Carol Day. So if you want access to abortion resources, you should contact Planned Parenthood (its closest clinic is at 1108 16th Street).


If you’re just looking for convenience, you can buy cigarettes and chewing tobacco at Hoya Snaxa, Vittles and Wisey’s. If you’re more of a bargain shopper, hike over the Key Bridge and pick up your cancer sticks in Rosslyn—D.C.’s tax on cigarettes is $2.50 per pack and Virginia’s is only 30 cents.

If you’re looking for more exotic tobacco products, such as cigars, the best option is Georgetown Tobacco on M Street.

Technically, the rule at Georgetown is that you’re not allowed to smoke within 25 feet of entrances to buildings, but that’s rarely enforced. While groups of smokers do tend to congregate near doors, weather-permitting, you should really try to steer clear of entrances—it does little to endear you to non-smokers.

8 Comments on “Prefrosh Preview: Illicit activities

  1. An update to fake id usage, if I may:

    Thirds stopped being difficult to get into sometime in the middle of 1st semester. It is now probably the easiest bar in Gtown for fakes.

    Mr. Smith’s is a definite no-go. Rhino tends to be hit and miss.

  2. thirds is definitely the easiest to get into with a fake ID now. they cracked down for one day (and actually took the fakes away) just to scare people off, but went straight back to being easy. the only times they’ll really crack down is if there’s some club-sponsored event where 18 and up are admitted, and on those occasions it’s just as easy to use your real id and have someone there buy you a drink.

  3. I don’t know if it happens on other days but if you go there for Happy Hour (3 – 7 PM) on Fridays, you can usually catch people singing karaoke.

    As for bars, Thirds prides itself on its no-take policy so is now overrun by freshmen. I don’t think anyone has gone to Chadwicks since 2008 aside from some upperclassmen feeling nostalgic and wanting to re-live their freshman and sophomore years. Pretty sure Tombs doesn’t take IDs but the last thing you want is to get blacklisted from there if you keep trying over and over again. Finally, Old Glory is somewhat strict with IDs. Bottom line: if you’re under 21, Epicurean and Thirds are your best bets. You can try Rhino and hope you get Julian Vaughn?

  4. Attention Prefrosh:

    The sleaziest student I ever knew, a man who needs to be neutered for the sake of the human race, once said that he didn’t like Rhino’s because it was “a little too weird.”


  5. ids:
    thirds is notoriously tough the beginning of the school year but they definitely loosen up. chadwicks is weirdly difficult after a bust that occurred my freshman year. rhino is hit or miss. epicurean is laughable.

  6. only try thirds on thursdays though! they actually are tough on the weekends, and its a mid-20s to 30s crowd anyways. thursdays= basically only freshman and sophomores only.

  7. Thirds is definitely hit or miss recently. It was a for-sure easy entry with a shitty ID most of second semester (minus that one day), especially on weekdays, but over the summer they were unconventionally strict. So much for no-take on fakes, they snatched my ID at the door. Rule of thumb: Always be wary when there are police officers lingering down the block.

    And Rugby’s almost always a good bet, if overpriced.

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