by Grace Hatton, Reverb Editor
When it comes to parties at Wilson the past few years have been a rotating cycle of new rules passed down from the administration to the student organizers of such events. This year is no different and again a new crew has taken over the party contract process and in turn has tweaked some of the rules. There are now even more hosts and monitors required if a group of people want to set up an official party or event. Whoever is throwing the party has to get enough people to agree to be hosts and event monitors, which is much harder than you might think thanks to the gaudy event monitor shirts among other things. The new contract requires one host for every 35 people at the event and one monitor for every 30 people.
After the party organizers have managed to get enough people to sign up as hosts and monitors, the organizers have to get that contract signed by everyone involved (including the RD of the proposed space and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Coordinator Leigh Manuel), turn in that contract at least a week before the event and then organize the set up and cleanup of the event.
I explain all of this simply to say that organizing an event or party is a lot of work for the people in charge and it’s incredibly frustrating when an event that you’ve spent weeks organizing for is shut down before the end because of general lack of common sense when it comes to the rules at such an event.
From next weekend on, there are multiple parties being planned for the remaining Saturdays of the year, and while we all like to party and have a good time, sometimes a few people who neglect to use common sense get the whole party shut down. So perhaps as an alternative if we can, as a community, follow some simple guidelines, parties won’t get shut down, the organizers will feel as though their hard work was not in vain and maybe, just possibly, in the future the rules will loosen up a bit. But for now, here are some handy things you can do to be respectful of the party organizers, and make sure the party you’re having such a good time at doesn’t need to stop.
#1 – Don’t Bring in Open Containers
Yes, it’s the weekend and we all like to quench our thirst on those magical drinks most of the attendees are too young to be drinking legally. And by all means drink those potent concoctions that make you a little happier, but please do not bring in an open beer or liquor bottle into a party. The state of North Carolina, public safety and the administration frown on underage and/or binge drinking, and there is no way to determine how old the person waving their beer around is or how many beers they’ve had previously in a loud, sweaty and dark party environment.
This is the one that gets parties shut down the most often because public safety has a list of all the contracted parties and they tend to watch what’s going on at those parties. If they see people stumbling about with open containers, the party can be automatically shut down.
So be smart about it, go ahead and drink your concoctions, but do it in your own private space before the event, since when you bring an open container to a party, which people do surprisingly often, you are giving public safety a perfectly legitimate reason to turn on the lights and kick everyone out, regardless of when the party was supposed to be over.
#2 – Keep the Smoking to the Designated Areas
Another thing that has the potential to shut parties down is smoking. Smoking tobacco products outside of the designated smoking areas, such as on the porch of the dorm that is hosting the party, is another opportunity for public safety or the residence life staff to shut down a party. And then smoking anything else in or around the party venue is a huge no, no. Again: smoke what you want, but do it in an appropriate or designated place. If you bring it to a party you’re inviting the folks in charge to shut it down. Also not smoking, tobacco or otherwise, in or around a party venue is showing respect for the community space you’re temporarily occupying and aren’t we a community that wants to respect one another?
#3 – Listen to the Monitors and Hosts
Hosts and event monitors are taking time out of their lives to throw a party, mainly because they want this campus to have kick ass parties on the weekends that everyone will be talking about when Sunday rolls around. But this also means they are putting in the work to organize the event and taking the risk if anything is shut down on their watch, so when a host or monitor makes an announcement (such as get rid of open containers) or asks you to do something, please listen. They want the party to keep going till the wee hours of the morning and if they’re trying to tell you something it’s because your actions are putting the party at risk and they most likely have public safety or residence life telling them to stop whatever is going on. So don’t be a smart ass and ignore whatever they’re trying to tell you. Instead, take a moment and think about how they’re trying to help the whole party, and listen to the friendly instructions.
#4 – Look Out for the People Around You
We pride ourselves on being a community that looks after one another so why not carry on this fine tradition when it comes to parties? One of the main reasons the party monitor training process was put in place was to help look after the people attending parties. Event monitors are supposed to be an extra set of eyes to watch out for things like a member of our community who is too intoxicated for their own good or someone being uncomfortable in a situation and needing someone to step in on their behalf. Yet event monitors want to have fun too and can’t see everything all the time. So while you’re dancing and having fun just be aware of the people around you. Look out for anything that seems a little off and step in. Take care of one another and this will ensure a smooth party that has no problems.
#5 – Remember: It’s Not Your Home
Most of the people attending parties don’t live in the dorm they’re partying in. So, as you’re dancing and having a good time, keep in mind this isn’t your home. You’re a guest and as such you should respect it. Don’t stand on radiators that can break and cause flooding, like what happened at Sparkles ‘n’ Spandex last year. Don’t set off the fire alarm like someone did last year in ANTC when they set off sparklers at a party. Don’t jump on counters and surfaces and cause damage. If you seriously damage the common space of the dorm you’re partying in, not only will the party most likely get shut down you will also be inflicting community damage fees on the residents of that dorm who agreed to have the party in their home.
Keep your feet on the ground and dance till the 1 a.m. cut off, but when you think about doing something stupid that could hurt the property, just ask yourself: would you want someone doing that in your space?
Fewer contracted parties have been happening on campus because the people who think of throwing these parties are intimated by the party contract process but also by the possibility of their party, which they put time, energy and brainpower into, will be shut down early. However, the things I’ve listed above are the things that most commonly get parties shut down and if you’ve done any of these things at a party I hope from now on you’ll take the time to be a little more respectful of the party organizers, process and spaces in the future. Parties on campus should not be a free-for-all, ‘let’s do whatever the hell we want for a few hours’ event, but instead should be an eclectic gathering of considerate and fun-loving Wilson students who know how to follow some simple rules while having a gossip worthy good time.
Now get out there and keep the party alive.