By Maureen Cowhey ‘19
Business Manager & Staff Writer
In the eyes of college administrators, parties can appear to be the epitome of undesirable activities, fostering a culture of alcohol, drugs, nonconsensual activity and overall PR nightmares. The flashing lights of ambulances seen almost every Saturday night transporting students who have had too much to drink is a testament to the legitimacy of the administration’s concerns with parties. In response, many annual 5C parties, such as Anything But Clothes (ABC), have been cancelled this semester. Parties at the Claremont Colleges have been scaled back by the administration a little more every year.
As a college student, I see where they are coming from. Fewer parties should equal fewer transports, sexual assaults, and unsafe activities. However, this has not been the case. The Scripps College Class of 2020 has had more students transported since the school year began than the Class of 2019 had the entire school year, according to the Dean of Students office. Meaning, fewer parties do not mean safer habits.
I believe that a lack of parties actually leads to worse outcomes. Without a party to attend every week, students are forced to go off campus in search of a good time in unsafe spaces. Also, students have nowhere to go after they pre-game, leading to drinking throughout the night rather than for a set time. 5C dances are highly regulated with Campus Security officers everywhere, whereas dorm parties and off campus parties are not regulated at all. This is not to say that the presence of Campus Security puts an end to all sexual assault, because we know it does not. However, if the aim is to decrease sexual assault on campus, moving parties from regulated, crowded 5C spaces to more secluded and intimate settings is not a better solution. Furthermore, the Scripps party rule does not foster a culture of safe drinking. Students are afraid of getting caught in their dorms with alcohol, because the policies are so strict and the rules are enforced. This leads students to search off campus for alcohol and parties, putting students in potentially dangerous situations.
Increasing the amount of 5C parties and removing the strict party and alcohol policies seems counterintuitive to decreasing he number of transports and sexual assaults. However, the current situation is not safer.