Ewing mayor Bert Steinmann announced this past summer that authorities would be cracking down on college parties, and so far has proven himself serious with the recent series of busts made at off-campus houses. Personally, I agree that this area is no stranger to house parties. On my way to a friend’s house the other night, I passed by a rather loud house party. Actually it was so loud that I could still hear it faintly once I reached my destination about two and a half blocks away.
Annoying as it must have been to surrounding residents, this was no student party. Instead I glanced over and saw a backyard filled with older adults as I rounded the corner, even though it was approaching midnight. A couple of children (whom I’m assuming had parents at the gathering) even ran screaming and laughing from the house down the street as older voices and reggaeton music blasted through the air.
That kind of non-college party is not the first I’ve seen around Ewing, particularly since they tend to be far louder and more visible than college student ones. Ironically, however, it is the college ones that Mayor Steinmann and the College seem to be focusing in on.
Students of the College usually go to great measures to ensure gatherings at their houses keep noise levels to a minimum, and free rides by sober people are offered to partygoers for safety reasons as well as noise-dimming ones. The reality is that parties here are far more respectful of local residents than those at many other colleges (and I’ve been to a lot of parties at other schools). Many students go further by getting to know their neighbors and being friendly with them.
The occasional bad relationship does happen, but there are always two sides to every story. Government leaders of Ewing should not forget that off-campus college students are also residents of their town and as such have the same rights as others.
Yes, underage people in the presence of alcohol is illegal. From this viewpoint, I understand the township’s desire to lessen illegal activity in the area. But really, this area is afflicted with so many arguably more frightening forms of crime. In my past three years at the College there have been numerous thefts (11 vehicles were stolen from students my freshman year alone), a shooting, house invasions and burglaries, a potential predator (Christopher Stalkin’ anyone?) and multiple sexual assaults. This list doesn’t even begin to cover the various crimes not affecting students that occur yearly in Ewing and surrounding areas.
Additionally, the administration should not ignore that one of the factors potential students look for in a college is a party/social scene. Even the most studious of students enjoy the occasional party outing, and applicant levels could very well drop once it spreads that college parties are a no go. Academics are very important and there’s so much to be proud of about this school, but we all need to go out and have fun sometimes. That being said, students should respect those around them wherever they are, and when going out, know their limits.
College parties are and always will be a part of college. Furthermore, anybody purchasing property near a college campus and who’s been to college, knows someone who’s been to college or knows anything about college life is aware that parties are bound to take place nearby. Take it or leave it, but that’s life.