The Party Stops

American colleges are cracking down on big parties. According to an article by Allie Grasgreen at Inside Higher Ed:

In the Midwest, administrators at Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan Universities are trying to avoid such chaos by discouraging students from attending an April Fool’s Day event whose stated purpose is to congregate thousands of drunk people. And Tufts University just announced that it’s canceling the annual Naked Quad Run, which – while a seasonal winter event – has caused similar trouble. The presidents of Albany and Illinois State both e-mailed students directly to condemn dangerous and irresponsible behavior, whatever the celebration; the president of Tufts echoed that sentiment in a student newspaper op-ed.

Many college administrators are citing the danger of such alcohol-fueled events as reason to shut them down. Well duly noted, safety first. But these events are traditions. Are they really more dangerous now than in past years? And how did that happen?

Here’s a recent St. Patrick’s Day celebration at SUNY Albany:

This event is surely annoying for Albany residents, and apparently caused $12,000 worth of damage, but as many pointed out, it’s pretty tame for a college party. As one commentator wrote, “Not only is this stupid, but they also suck at rioting. They were unable to flip a van and four cops won, half a minute after arriving.”

Nevertheless this week SUNY Albany announced that it was ending its support for the spring celebration. The president of the school explained that: “I regret that this action will punish students who had no role in the disturbing events of March 12. But the need to proactively respond and to uphold our reputation has never been greater.”

Damn you, will you do nothing to let them dull the pain of their crushing debt with alcohol?

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer