Fighting for the right to party

Students and parties are not going anywhere, so how about some neighborly discourse instead of dialing 911?

PJim Forrey
Guest columnist

party patrols are an extreme waste of police resources and our tax dollars, as well as a violation of our rights. We are students and all of us have or will attend a party, regardless of consuming alcohol. It is generally the primary social activity of our week, and being busted and ticketed by the police does a lot more than ruin the night.

The U.S. Constitution grants us the right of privacy in our homes and the right to assemble. Angry police officers violate our rights by coming into our homes and busting up our parties. I won’t even go into the unjustness of the spying of Operation NightCAP.

What goes on within the confines of our homes is our business; police cannot just come in. There is nothing illegal about having a party in your home. What is our quality of life on campus if we are afraid of having our friends over to our private residence?

Who’s keeping us safe during the week? Party patrols focus resources on extra weekend patrols. As noted in Tuesday’s article by Kevin Behr, party patrollers are added on top of normal patrol and are paid overtime. 80 percent of police department budgets are generally dedicated to patrolling, besides extra patrols.

Sure, crime rates supposedly are down during party patrol, but they are up all other times – this is called displacement. Criminals know when patrols are heightened. Where are our noble servers and protectors when there is no student to bully or minor to bust?

I understand the problems some party goers present to the neighborhoods, but this is an issue between those irresponsible partiers and their neighbors, not cops, bureaucrats, and disgruntled residents. All parties get busted, not just the loud and disorderly. The actions of a minority should not be grounds to punish us all.

We have to stand up as students and as neighborhood residents. This is an infringement of our rights and that is serious. Besides a little noise, some urination in undesignated areas and a couple of discarded keg cups, most parties do little damage. This is our life, too, and we should not be pushed around by the cops or disgruntled neighbors.

But you have to be a responsible partygoer or host. Know your rights and talk to your neighbors. Inconsiderate parties hurt all of us.

The neighborhood has to remember this is a Big Ten college campus that they are living around. Students and parties are not going anywhere, so how about some neighborly discourse instead of dialing 911? Our weekend rituals and rights will remain intact and perhaps some more resources could be focused on real crime.

Jim Forrey is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]