This past weekend was my 3rd House Party experience on this campus. I was unable to attend my sophomore year due to athletics. Each year has been a relatively different experience. My freshman year seemed the more common House Party in that I visited the fraternity houses, watched some bands, obtained the free food given out by faculty, and in general had a great time. I did not overdo it, and many of my friends and fellow students seemed to follow that. Last year’s House Party was different, there was a lot more “uptightness”; it was nearly impossible to get into the fraternities after 8pm, and I mostly just walked around with friends and hung out. No hardcore partying seemed to occur for me. It was not necessarily less fun, but the nature of the weekend had changed. It seemed, to me at least, less about having a fun,carefree time and more like someone watching over your shoulder to make sure you didn’t overdo things. There seemed less trust. I expected little to change for this year’s celebrations and therefore decided to forgo the buying the the wristwrap that would allow me access to fraternities and their activities. I stayed downhill the entire weekend. I hung out with friends, mostly in my gateway. I didn’t go nuts as some might have, but neither was I abstaining from the celebrations. I was a lot less stressed this year and the trust issue became moot. This seemed the best way for me personally to enjoy House Party. It is a weekend of great excitement and energy. I especially enjoyed the mini carnival held with the games and free food.
I would admit that some cannot contain their excitement and wish to celebrate and release their stresses and tend to over-do it a little. But overall I believe the number of these cases might be a little over-exaggerated. Yes there are the select few who take things to a physically dangerous level, and they are held accountable. Personally, I think that with more restrictions on how persons can access the fraternities the more of these extreme cases there are. Most of them I would bet come from persons imbibing in their own dorm rooms. At a fraternity the ability for a person to reach such dangerous levels of intoxication is limited due to others being able to simply stop serving them. So perhaps the best way to eradicate such dangerous behavior is actually to persuade everyone to go out to the fraternities instead of staying in. Perhaps my thinking is flawed, but students will still find a way to drink even if House Party is eradicated, just channel that to safer places.
As to the rest of the 2011 report, I have noticed a definite increase in the amount of non-Greek activities and intellectual talks in the last two years. Diversity is still a problem on campus but I believe it can be overcome. Making persons feel comfortable on campus is a task I feel the students themselves need to uptake. Such activities such as the canoe battleship need to occur more often. Activities that are fun, open to non-Greeks, and incorporate the entire campus are sorely needed. Everyone I know loves BU After Dark. It might have lost its luster over the years, but I still go. maybe it’s time to revamp it, have it more often. Again the mini-carnival was a blast, have that again. Things like this could occur more often and many people attend. I saw dozens of non-Greeks at the Kenan Thompson show. There was smores and soup, and it was a fun time. It would be interesting to see that data about when are the weekends with the most hospitalizations, and what activities the campus has that weekend. Perhaps to cut down on the alcohol abuse we simply need more wholesome distractions.