Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

32° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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One way or another, Willard party drinking will continue

Rumor has it, a few years back, the annual Frances Willard party was listed in Playboy Magazine as one of the Top 10 college parties in the country.

We’ve come a long way since the days when that might have been conceivable – the days when people were allowed to drink and have fun responsibly without the tight scrutiny of our peer babysitters, the residential advisers.

The Frances Willard party, celebrated on her birthday, was created to mock the prohibitionist for whom the dorm was named. It was meant to be an ironic celebration of the temperance movement by having an evening of debauchery in her honor. These days, however, it looks like old Frances is getting the last laugh.

My freshman year I can remember stepping out of my room into a world of madness, with the boring old halls transformed into Super Mario World or Wonka Land. Last year, administrators decided it wasn’t safe to have the halls decorated, so we were forced to take down most of the large decorations. This year, the halls were stripped completely. What used to be an insane free-for-all, with people bouncing around from room to room through different worlds, has now turned into an average weekend night at Bobb-McCulloch Hall. But in the the past three years, more has changed than just the decorations.

As I was barreling through the halls in my drunken stupor, yelling about the lack of debauchery, I was greeted by Willardites telling me to be quiet so as not to attract attention to their room. We wouldn’t want anybody to think there was a “party” going on. After all, we are in college. The hosts of the Willard party were forced to keep their doors closed, leaving the displaced masses to wander the halls hoping to stumble upon a room and maybe a beverage.

So whom do you blame? Is it that the people in Willard don’t like to have fun anymore? Not likely. Administrators have spent the past three years doing everything possible to limit the social life of students.

Some will say these rules have always been in place, but they have never been enforced as strictly as this year. Anybody found in the hall with a drink in hand was forced to pour it out, even by RAs “visiting” from other dorms. Of course these policy changes didn’t stop anybody from drinking — they never have and never will. I couldn’t count the number of people I saw standing by doors chugging down their drinks so as not to get into trouble. And let’s not forget the inevitable “pre-party.”

People are going to drink, and if they can’t drink at a party, they will drink more alcohol in a shorter period of time before the party begins. I have seen more problems at dry parties than at those allowing responsible drinking. If anything hits the fan, the administration can say it wasn’t their fault. But it seems to me that Northwestern should care more about our safety than its own liability.

So where does the administration stop? Are there going to be more “no-fun rules” for next year. What more could they possibly do without just calling the whole thing off? Maybe they will have to settle for kicking off a few more fraternities and making the tailgates dry again. And if that doesn’t work, they could hire even more cops to go bust off-campus parties. It wouldn’t be the first time.

So can we still have fun despite all of the new rules? Of course. Administrators never will stop us from having fun, and they won’t stop underage college students from drinking. What they can do, and have continually done, is to make having fun at NU more difficult. But we can’t let them win. To quote some of our generation’s representatives, “we’ve gotta fight for our right to party.”

So if the doors have to stay closed, we’ll close them. But we can’t bend over and let the administration stop our fun. The party will go on.

Daniel Golden is a Weinberg junior. He can be reached at [email protected].

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One way or another, Willard party drinking will continue