OPINION: Frat parties are scary…

… especially when safety is brushed aside



A party can be a great place to have fun and make memories, but attending comes with risk.

PARKER R. SCHAFER, Evergreen columnist

Many people know someone who has been intoxicated underage, whether it was at a party or just casually with friends. Even in the dorms, you come across fraternity guys running up and down the halls tripping over themselves while drunk.

When most people think of a typical college experience, one of the first things that come to mind is fraternities, parties and drinking — especially here at WSU. However, with parties there comes many dangers and risks when safety is shoved to the side. 

One of the most dangerous situations on a college campus can be a party. 

The loud music, the drunk people and the large crowds create a risky environment for many participating at the scene. This can create a prime environment for someone to easily slip a roofie into some unsuspecting partier’s drink. 

As taboo and unlikely as that sounds, there are many people to whom this happens every year. 

About 1 in every 13 students across several colleges has been drugged at a party, according to a study done by Livesience.com.

Some parties let only women and other people from the hosting fraternities into their parties. 

“I think that it ties back to just such a gross statement on sexuality,” freshman mechanical engineering major Camden Yinger said. “There is no surprise and they don’t take any backlash for it, everyone is going to take it because that’s how it is.” 

Many people feel frat parties are dangerous and a risky environment to put yourself in, especially as a woman or female-presenting person. 

“Primarily because I’m a female, I worry about my safety anywhere, so going to parties seems like, if I don’t have a trusted group with me, it’s just not going to be fun,” Grace Wasser, freshman elementary education major said.

Yinger and Wasser were both involved in helping a freshman girl get medical treatment after having too many alcoholic beverages at a party hosted by the fraternity Sigma Nu.

“We walked around the corner to [see] her throwing up blood in the showers,” Wasser said. “It became clear that she was just getting worse and worse and worse and so we ended up calling 911.”

This brings up another large issue with frat parties — enabling underage drinking, sometimes even encouraging it. Many freshmen in the halls of the dorms have a surprising amount of access to alcohol, many of whom are fraternity members. 

“I mean, you go into the bathrooms here and you can just see empty alcoholic beverages in the trash cans. It’s not hidden,” Yinger said. “You walk around the campus and you can see empty fireball shots. There is plenty of alcohol around here.” 

However, on the flip side, there are many things to enjoy about a party or two. 

“It’s fun when you have a good group of girls and you can just go and listen to music,” freshman undecided major Marielle Jennings said. 

Jennings also said partying is a great way to just forget about your problems for a couple of hours in a setting where people are building each other up. 

Parties can be a very pleasant place for people to blow off steam and take the time to separate themselves from their day-to-day struggles. 

Freshman kinesiology major Rory Crowder is a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity; he believes that the goal of every party should be to have a good time.

“In general, partying anywhere, you need to keep your head on a swivel. I think there is a lot of negative in the world, there [are] some bad eggs, and there are some here that you have to watch out for,” Crowder said. 

There is clearly a lot of good and a lot of bad about parties. 

Whether a party is thrown innocently or not, there are a lot of rules surrounding parties.

Crowder said that at every party, there are always a few sober people making sure that everyone is safe and that nobody is doing anything untoward. 

When asked about parties that only let fraternity members and women in, Crowder said that there is a lot of risk around letting other people into the parties.

“I see it as a liability issue, like if they get hurt then the higher-ups are responsible for that,” Crowder said.

However, women are often let into those parties all the time and without restriction, despite being just as likely to engage in acts that are potential liabilities.

To that, Crowder simply said, “That’s why we don’t let anyone into the house.”

However, according to some partygoers, this may not be entirely accurate.

“They’ll let people inside the house depending on the day,” Jennings said. “Sometimes it’s in the house, sometimes it’s in the backyard. It all depends on where you’re going.”

One way or another, college students will be exposed to the consequences of parties in their community. The conversation has become less about whether or not there are risks involved, and more about how to reduce those risks so that people can have a good and safe time while partying. 

Wasser, Yinger, Jennings and Crowder all gave relatively similar advice to students who are thinking of getting into the local party scene: always go in a group, and always check up on the members of said group. 

Making sure to party safely is the most important thing. Regardless of any negatives or positives, having a good experience with a party is possible by simply making sure that safety is the number one priority.