Exercise caution: Respect this weekend

More than 300 underage drinking tickets were issued near campus last September.

As the new school year begins there are the inevitable parties that come with it. It’s the time of year where hordes of students venture into Dinkytown looking for nights of fun-filled revelry. For those finally privileged with a taste of independence, it’s easy to forget that one still needs to use caution and exercise respect.

Intoxication isn’t a free pass to yell at passing cars or to use the neighborhood as your urinal. The truth is, while many students live in the neighborhoods surrounding campus, many families and other people do as well. We hope that if students plan to go out this weekend, they do so with consideration toward others.

Remember that in the same way students are looking for parties where underage people can drink, so are the police. If you’re traveling in packs of five, 10 or 15, you may as well just call the police when you get to the party. Think it can’t happen to you? Just look at the statistics. During a mere two-week period last September, over 300 underage consumption citations were given out by the Minneapolis and University police departments, as well as over 50 other citations that were alcohol-related. A citation around here costs well over a hundred dollars, slightly more than the average keg cup.

It isn’t that students should stay at home and not have any fun. Minneapolis and the larger metro area are home to hundreds of cultural events such as concerts, plays, sporting events, comedy clubs and beyond. Many venues offer student discounts, such as $3 Twins games or student rush tickets.

Students who want to go out need to be wary that the Minneapolis and University police departments are antsy this time of year to put students in their place. They break up parties throughout the year, but never are they so strict in handing out citations as they are early in the semester.

If you do decide to go out, just remember to be safe and respectful. Don’t mix poisons and take care of your friends. Winding up in the hospital or jail can add quite a sour note to the semester, not to mention your bank account. When you’re out this weekend and you feel like yelling “I’m Rick James, bitch,” just keep it to yourself.