Act with caution when hosting parties
Fraternities and throwers of house parties at the University should take note of last Thursday’s raid on the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity at Rowan University. The raid, conducted by Glassboro police in conjunction with Rowan University public safety, resulted in more than 100 arrests on various charges, which ranged from obstruction of justice to selling alcohol without a license to providing alcohol to minors. Our own University has a pretty well-documented party culture, and, for the most part, one could conceivably argue that it is relatively harmless. But it’s important to remember that the keyword there is “relatively.” What happened at Rowan last week can and should serve as a reminder — not just to fraternities, but everyone who hosts parties on or off campus — that parties are only harmless as long as certain lines are not crossed. If they are, then serious problems can arise.
First-year students are probably the most at-risk when it comes to party dangers. Because they are underage, they should not be drinking in the first place. They do not have regular access to alcohol, so when they come to the party scene for the first time, they usually do not know how to consume alcohol safely and responsibly. This can lead to serious consequences, alcohol poisoning and terrible decisions foremost among them. Older students at the University, especially those who host parties, need to be aware of this. It is not just a matter of keeping yourself on the right side of the law by not providing alcohol to minors. More importantly, it is an issue of keeping your fellow students safe. Even to the initiated, parties can pose dangers.
We must assert that we do not believe the conduct of TKE at Rowan is in any way indicative of the conduct of fraternities in general. Such a claim would be foolish and baseless. Rather, we feel the need to bring this information to the attention of the student body precisely because it is a real problem that affects everyone. If you are hosting a party, make sure safety is a top priority. If you find yourself at a party where the hosts are making questionable decisions, try to make the right decision and look after the more vulnerable students among you. You may not be the one providing them with alcohol, but you could be the one to make sure they get home safe and sound.