by Micah Wilkins, web editor
After some irresponsible behavior at several parties on campus this term, Residence Life staff members are considering revising the event contract that students need to submit in order to throw a large-scale, approved party.
Area Coordinator Phil Wiltzius is heading these efforts to change the contracts in a way that promotes healthy, responsible behavior during parties.
According to Wiltzius, at some parties several weekends ago, namely the Sparkles and Spandex party and a party held in Schafer B, irresponsible and unsafe behavior took place. In more than one instance, some students became sick after drinking too much, but were left behind by friends. Furthermore, Residence Life staff and Public Safety were summoned to these events, which shouldn’t happen, according to Wiltzius, as it is the job of the student party monitors to observe and intervene when they witnessed unsafe or illegal behavior at the party.
“It shouldn’t be the responsibility of residence life or of public safety,” Wiltzius said. “Students should be monitoring other students.”
Wiltzius and other residence life staff members even considered suspending event contracts in these areas.
“There was a lot of disrespect when people were confronted by [Residence] Life staff and Public Safety,” Wiltzius said. “We’re trying to figure out as a staff how to deal with that. We needed kind of a breather … We needed a little bit of time to evaluate what was going on.”
After parties got out of hand, the Area Coordinators and Director of Resident Life Paul Perrine sent out a campus-wide e-mail explaining to the community that “on our end in Residence Life, we are working to create a more comprehensive event contract process–more detailed planning with students on the front end, extensive event monitor training, and evaluations of events afterwards.”
Though the precautions in the event contracts are seen as improvements and as extra safety measures for events, the process can be a lot of work for a student to go through just to hold an event. Working on completing the event contract was like “jumping through hoops” said senior Sam Fanthorpe, who was an event sponsor at a party in the Village earlier in the term. However, he said, he was happy he went through the correct procedure so that he and others could throw a contract-approved party.
“We experienced few disruptions or road blocks from student life and public safety,” Fanthorpe said. “I very much appreciated that aspect of throwing a contracted party.”
According to Fanthorpe, there are many advantages to the way parties are set up through this contract. Each event must have two sponsors and four monitors.
“The amount of party monitors required is also a strength of the system,” Fanthorpe said. “With a sufficient amount of supervisors, drunken incidents were prevented and nobody got in trouble who was associated with the party.”
Wiltzius stressed the importance and the significance of party contracts, as they are unique to this college, and a way for the college to approve large social events.
“If we didn’t have it and people just put on parties themselves, it could be a lot more harmful, with harmful behaviors that would go on,” Wiltzius said. “I’ve never heard of any other college approving big events like that. I think it’s a really positive thing we’re doing.”