Campbell House self-imposes party ban after warnings
Of the four theme houses on campus, one seems to be garnering a lot of attention. For some, attention may be welcomed, but at Campbell House it couldn’t come at a worse time.
Problems for Campbell House arose from a party at the house on Aug. 31. That night, countless students showed up at the house with the promise of a fun night of partying. What happened was quite different from what partygoers expected.
Campbell House residents strive for a community atmosphere and the chance to socialize with all of their friends. Hosting parties became a longstanding tradition of accomplishing just that.
“Everyone can sometimes become isolated from one another,” said sophomore house resident James O’Neill. “Having people over is our way of continuing the community feel.”
Throwing parties always carries the risk of repercussions for the hosts, which in this instance included four returning residents and two new ones. House residents have become somewhat accustomed to hearing from Public Safety. Last year, the theme house hosted multiple parties in which students were sanctioned for violations.
Over the course of the night of Aug. 31, several students were written up for underage drinking and open-container violations. The problems for the house did not end there. The following morning, Public Safety offices questioned house residents about beer bottles laying in the grass of surrounding properties. Housemates had initially believed that they had cleaned up most of the remnants of the party, but not all was cleared.
Not wanting to start the year on a bad note, house members met with Residence Life to establish a set of bylaws for the house. House Manager and junior Zach Kronisch acknowledged that this was to ensure a fun and safe year for all at the house.“We listened to everything they said and we accommodated all the requests that they made,” said Kronisch. “We wanted to know what’s appropriate and what’s not. This year we have the house (again). It’s a whole new year. (But, we) threw a party and there was a lot of underage drinking outside, and a lot of people got documented.”
All that had been gained in the initial meeting with Residence Life seemed to have been lost after one party. Residence Life took this party very seriously and threatened to remove Campbell House residents if any similar incidents occurred in the future.
In order to preserve their status as members of Campbell House, the residents took drastic measures. The members self-imposed a “party ban” in order to prevent future sanctions as well as the possibility of removal from the house.
Kronisch knew that it was vital to impose the ban for all involved.“The party ban was established for us to take responsibility and (because we’re) not wanting to get kicked out of the house,” he said.
While some students embraced the decision, others thought of it as an unnecessary reaction.
“What would the school have done if they hadn’t (self-imposed the party ban)?” said senior Celeste Prose. “It seems like an overreaction.”
What could have been done to prevent all this? Kronisch believes that it is not about preventing partying, but instead embracing “smart partying.”
“The issues arise when there’s not that many things happening on campus,” Kronisch said. “It’s very rare to have an on-campus house party. When people find out about it, they kind of flock to where that’s happening.”
When all of these students show up, it can become difficult for the hosts to supervise every person and ensure that no violations occur. Underage drinking and drinking outside can run rampant.
“In these party situations, it becomes very difficult to discern who can be drinking and where it is acceptable to be drinking,” said junior Kyle Smith.
Other students who have been to parties at Campbell House have not seen these issues first-hand. Senior Max MacClennen has partied at the house but has always seen order.
“The times that I have been there, (the drinking) has all been pretty contained,” MacClennen said. “It’s usually all going on inside the house or on the porch.”
On Sept. 17, Kronisch, along with representatives from the three other theme houses, met with Residence Life and discussed proper behavior for the houses.
“There were a lot of concerns brought up; it wasn’t just me,” Kronisch said. “A lot was said about party culture and why there are a lot more people being documented.”
In the end, Kronisch acknowledged that not a whole lot was accomplished in the meeting.
Although Residence Life seemed promising about the chances of parties in the future, the ambiguous nature of the rules leave Kronisch and the rest of the house wary of any parties in the immediate future.
“We want to try it out,” Kronisch said. “It’s just hard because nothing concrete was set.”