Policing Off-Campus Parties Endangers Students


Author: Freddie Allen

Last Saturday ended in shambles. I showered, embalmed myself in cologne and stepped out of my halls of residence, but in retrospect it was a pointless exercise. Why? Because as soon as we arrived at the party it was shut down by the LAPD, prompting hordes of students to take to the streets. Whoever made the call to the police perhaps didn’t consider the repercussions of breaking up the party, the result of which saw large numbers of first-years congregating on residential lawns or worse: students taking to their cars in search of the next party and driving under the influence.

While there is obviously going to be some form of fallout from parties being thrown, college students aren’t going to give up partying anytime soon. A compromise needs to be made. Containing the party in a residential property firstly provides a haven for students to socialize without wandering the streets of Eagle Rock.

Secondly, it removes the party from campus and all associations with academic pressure.

At a house party, a driver is able to dry out after having a beer, yet if the party is broken up, there’s immediately a problem when potentially drunk students are put behind the wheel of a vehicle. On Campus Road, several of the intersections do not have stop signs, enabling drivers to cruise at high speeds down the street. It seems only a matter of time before there’s a serious accident, as students and drunk drivers spill out into the middle of the street. Last weekend we were lucky that nobody got hurt.

Following the closing down of one house, other parties were soon to follow as Campus Security visited other known party houses in order to prevent further police involvement. The kicker of this was that even greater numbers took to the streets in search of a new venue and more alcohol.

So what’s the solution? One possibility could be to forge an agreement with the local residents that doesn’t entail hundreds of students getting intimate with their front yards every weekend. I am not suggesting that one should allow people to party freely on campus, yet there must be a safer, less frustrating way for students to congregate en masse without being dispersed. Potentially the hiring of a venue and the charging of a simple cover might be the way to go, as students would no doubt pay a little extra for a guarantee that a party will continue undisturbed.

Most will agree that a compromise needs to be reached sooner rather than later, for students are put at an increased risk when ousted from a party house and a serious accident on Campus Road is imminent.

Freddie Allen is an Exchange Student from the University of East Anglia. He can be reached at fallen@oxy.edu.

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