As all-campus parties become a rarity on campus, we fear that binge drinking, drinking alone and underage drinking will rise.
Recently, administrators in charge of student life have made it increasingly difficult for some organizations to host parties open to all Kenyon students by enacting two major shifts in policy.
National fraternities and sororities have risk management policies that require them to adhere to Kenyon’s new Bring Your Own Bottle program. This means they cannot provide alcohol at open parties they host, but can throw closed parties with guest lists where people bring their own alcohol. Because of this, only four out of 11 Greek organizations on campus can throw all-campus parties. This is compounded by an October 2017 email that announced that the College would once again begin adhering to a policy that prevents sports teams from throwing parties without an administrative sponsor.
With these changes, most Greek organizations and all sports teams have been taken out of the equation when it comes to all-campus parties. We are concerned because, due to these policies, Kenyon’s party culture has already experienced an estimated 50 percent decrease in all-campus parties since spring 2016, according to a Collegian Magazine article in its fall 2018 issue, and this trend could continue. What would Kenyon look like without all-campus parties?
We feel that with fewer inclusive and more exclusive parties, there will be more binge drinking behind closed doors with fewer people around to help. Though it’s easy to see an all-campus party as a place for binge drinking and debauchery, there is something to be said for an inclusive party where food has to be provided, Campus Safety has to be informed and no one is drinking alone. How will first-years meet and learn from upperclass students if most parties have guest lists? While we don’t condone underage drinking, we can’t pretend it’s not going to happen. Kenyon could be creating the potential for more dangerous incidents to occur.
We are concerned that this slow, steady and intentional change will, if it is not reversed, have adverse effects on Kenyon and its students for years to come.
The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Cameron Messinides ’19 and Devon Musgrave-Johnson ’19, managing editor Grant Miner ’19 and executive director Matt Mandel ’19. You can contact them at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
In an earlier edition of this editorial, the Collegian stated “With these new regulations, most Greek organizations and all sports teams have been taken out of the equation when it comes to all-campus parties.” The policy about sports teams, however, is not new, despite it only recently having been fully enforced. The Collegian regrets this error.