Arts & Life Editor
Though not fully developed, DCGA is currently making an attempt to revise an aspect of Denison’s campus that will affect multiple facets of the community: party registration.
The exact timeline of the proposal is not yet finalized because it’s subject to the speed with which the Campus Affairs Council (CAC) acts following the passage of a resolution.
Denison’s current policy defines a party as having more than 15 attendees in a registered space with or without alcohol. However, the only social spaces permitted for alcohol consumption are apartment or suite-style living. All other social spaces provided by Denison (Lamson Lodge, Sunset Lodge, Knobel Hall, Good Hall Lounge, The Roost and Shepardson Basement Lounge) are not approved for alcohol.
Students must register an event with the above criteria at least 24 hours ahead of time. On top of the 24 hour notice, students must have Campus Safety perform a pre-party check-in to make sure the party space complies with the regulations. The regulations include providing non-alcoholic beverages for guests, access to the entrance and bathrooms, serving snacks and limiting the party to one alcohol serving location.
Finally, all parties are required to have a host, server and doorman. All three students must be trained in successful party hosting, and two of the three must be 21.
Though the registration process has reduced the amount of alcohol-related hospitalizations since its inception three years ago, some students feel the requirements are too much. Radhika Joshi ‘18 said “It seems a bit excessive, especially if it’s a non-alcoholic event. What if I’m just popular and sober?”
According to Policy Chair Steven Hix ‘16, DCGA is “trying to make party registration a little more conducive with the way Denison students actually live their lives.” He continued, “College life is built largely around spontaneity to an extent that we may never experience again and social policies on campus should reflect that reality.” Because of this spontaneity, one of the proposed changes would be to decrease the amount of time required to register an event from 24 hours to eight hours.
Hix said there have been several complaints about the number of people that constitute a “party” under the current system. He said, “15 people isn’t a party; it’s a group of friends watching a game.” DCGA’s proposed change for this section is raising the number of people from 15 to 22.
Shifting from the student perspective, Hix also believes that changing the policy would reduce the amount of strain the system puts on Campus Safety.
Hix commented how well the Office of Residential Education and Housing does to prepare Resident Assistants to handle every situation, which is why DCGA thinks students would be more receptive to a system that’s more student driven.
For example, instead of Campus Safety performing pre-party check-ins, the proposed change would be for RAs to check rooms that have not committed any prior violations of the registration policy.
Resident Assistant Lashonda Payne ‘16 speaks from both a student and Res-Ed perspective. She said “I think all of these changes would be great if I were just a student, but as a Resident Assistant it sounds very stressful.”
Payne continues, “I know there’s a lot of tension with security checking rooms and having RA’s perform these might lessen that tension. However when Res-Ed staff members go to student rooms, especially rooms hosting parties, we’re not taken very seriously. I think it’s important to have that authority figure there.
Hix concluded, “We’re simply seeking to make the system more student-friendly, which I personally think will actually increase compliance with the policy by increasing student buy-in and trust.”
Anyone with a vested interest in this issue is encouraged to reach out to DCGA senators and members of the CAC.