We are all aware that the number of hospitalizations of drunken students was unfortunately high the first few weekends of school, totaling 19 students. On the positive side, last weekend was the first weekend of this school year that nobody was hospitalized.
This is a skewed fact, considering that the decreased number in hospitalizations last weekend was mainly a factor of the lack of parties that occurred off campus, which was likely a result of the increased police activity occurring last weekend. It seems students were too afraid to go out this weekend, considering the extreme and excessive measures that the police went to in attempt to control the party scene.
We understand that students at the University like to go out and party on weekends. We also understand that some of these parties get out of hand and can lead to danger. The question is: do we want to completely stop the party or just control it moderately?
In many ways, measures taken to shut down partying do not always result in improving the safety of students. The administration and the police department often fail to understand that it is nearly impossible to completely shut down student partying, and attempts to do so drive students to underground drinking that is often more dangerous. We think that Dean of Students Susan Lantz and the students that met last week created a better solution to the problem by not shutting down partying but rather eliminating hard alcohol to make them safer. We were unable to see if this is a viable solution because the excessive police activity caused most parties to be shut down.
It’s difficult for the University and students to take measures downtown because the University has no jurisdiction there. Perhaps an open discussion between the University, students, and the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department (BVRPD) would better result in a cooperation between everyone. From there, parties can begin to become better under control so that police do not have to feel they must resort to harsh tactics to control downtown.
The school and the police department have taken numerous measures in order to secure safety for the students. As students, we understand that. But the tactics they are using to approach it are actually creating an environment that will lead to more harm. If there is a way for everyone to work together to think of a new solution rather than continuing down a road that perpetuates a cycle, we think that students would be more cooperative with the administration and the BVRPD.