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The party patrol

Colleen Reidy | Monday, September 6, 2010


In Tuesday’s issue of The Observer there was a Letter to the Editor about a party that was busted Friday night (“Underage drinking worse than armed robber?” Aug. 31) I was lucky not to be there, but most of the 23 who were arrested are my friends. I think I represent many Notre Dame students when I express a feeling of disbelief at what is happening off campus.

Let’s be honest here. What we have on our hands is a party patrol; a brigade whose sole purpose is to cruise around trying to find a couple dozen kids to take to jail for the night. What good is the elite Notre Dame diploma going to be in the job hunt when so many have one or more misdemeanors on their records simply for doing what every other college campus does and gets away with? How is it fair that our athletes are making headlines for doing what most other college athletes do and don’t get arrested for?

Taking measures to protect us from being taken advantage of by the police does not mean the university must condone underage drinking. It means they have to care enough about their students not to want the kids, who they all thought were clearly outstanding citizens in the application process, to walk out of here with criminal records.

I’m not saying that it’s reasonable to let students do whatever they want off campus. I am saying that the majority of college campuses around the country have found ways to control parties without ticketing, much less arresting their students. Colorado State University recently worked with their police forces to implement a program where CSU students were able to register their Friday or Saturday night parties at CSU’s Off-Campus Student Services. Should a noise complaint be received by Police Services, the registered party host is contacted by phone and is given a verbal warning to breakup their party in a 20-minute time frame. This may not be the answer for Notre Dame, but it is significantly better than the insanity that’s going on here.

Colleen Reidy


McGlinn Hall

Sep. 2