After President John Bravman sent out his email announcing the cancellation of House Party Weekend, many students were angered by the students mentioned in the email, feeling as though they “ruined it for the rest of us.” When a problem like drinking and excessive partying becomes such a widespread issue that over 20 students are sent to the hospital, it becomes a community problem. Most students do not drink by themselves, and more often
than not they are encouraged by their peers to engage in heavy drinking. Overall, any student who participated in House Party Weekend, even if they drank responsibly, condoned the actions of every student on campus. It wasn’t as if all the students on campus were drinking extremely responsibly and there happened to be a few who drank way too much. The fact of the matter is that most students during House Party Weekend are on the edge of excessive drinking and any of them could tip over into a trip to the hospital.
Additionally, as a community, we are all reflections of each other. When a drunken student is disrespectful to hospital staff trying to help him or her, that person’s actions reflect the University as a whole and shape how the Lewisburg community views all University students. Therefore, all students are stakeholders in the actions of our community members. While it is sad that we will not be able celebrate House Party Weekend this year, we should also realize how detrimental it was to our community.
Our fear now is how the community will fair come springtime. The sentiment on campus seems to be that the would-be House Party Weekend will be worse than ever as students will still party, perhaps even more out of control than before. Bravman expressed himself that said weekend would be very difficult. Also, students do not need a weekend to drink excessively; they do that anyway because they want to. The excessive drinking does not occur solely during House Party Weekend–it’s an issue that happens most weekends and needs to be addressed.
The University community
does not only include students, but extends to the University as a whole, including the administration. Just as students were not blind to the issues with House Party Weekend, the administration has been aware of the mounting problems as well. There have been ways that the administration has been helpful in this situation. For example, the implementation of the Community Conversation that Doug Bogan ’13 started last year with help from the administration initiated conversations surrounding this issue between students, faculty, and community members. Unfortunately, not every student took part in this, and therefore those conversations only reached a specific audience, and now the greater University community.
The administration has done things to help lessen the amount of excessive drinking, but they need to be more attentive
to whether or not it is working, and the students need to be more responsive and interested in the change. The only way that we can grow as a community is if we work together, rather than pointing fingers toward something that is clearly an issue for everyone, not just a specific few.