Ordinance will end ‘Mega Parties’

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket Staff, Date: November 19, 2015

Ordinance helps borough
The parties at apartment complexes have recently become a problem within our community. The complexes’ parties have encouraged underage drinking, led to students being hurt and there is technically nothing we could do about this problem, until now, that is.
Some Rocket staffers have agreed that the parties were doing more harm than good, and the new ordinance could prevent these parties from happening. The ordinance has several conditions surrounding what constitutes a fine.
This includes using an amplifying system outside, and then says that the gathering must be over 10 students. This is not all, though, as people who are attending parties must be exhibiting some lewd behavior in order for the person responsible to receive a fine.
Under this ordinance, students would be free to have parties outside with amplification systems, but as soon as the partygoers began exhibiting inappropriate behavior, then it would be shut down.
Typically, people who hold parties at their homes are careful about having people outside in the first place, so as not to attract police attention. It doesn’t seem as though the intent of this ordinance will be to shut down house parties, though if your party gets to the point where more than 10 people are outside exhibiting lewd behavior, it would’ve been shut down anyway, even without the ordinance.
This ordinance will hold apartment complex managers accountable for the type of behavior that is exhibited at their parties. Underage drinking and excessive drinking occur at these parties, and then when the party is over, the students attending are left to fend for themselves. I don’t think we have to explain why this is a problem.
If apartment complexes think that it is necessary to host these parties, then they will have to pay. This is not a crazy request, and we’re glad action is being taken.

Ordinance is unnecessary

For a college town, Slippery Rock is a quiet place.  We have one bar, exactly zero clubs and the parties here clear out at the mere suggestion of police.  On rare occasion, a local apartment complex will host a “mega party,” drawing a large attendance, but leaving little impact on the community.  Therefore, some staffers on The Rocket feel that the two sound ordinances currently proposed before the township seek to remedy a problem that does not exist.

For instance, when “Pig Roast 2k15” and the University Village’s block party made the news, noise complaints were never listed as a concern.  The Heights and the University Village sit in fairly isolated areas of the town, so it’s hard to believe that Slippery Rock locals were genuinely bothered by them.  Considering the township has expressed a desire to ban “mega parties” in the past, we can only assume these ordinances are a round-about way of doing so.

It’s true that these parties garnered a fair amount of police activity, but the injuries that occurred at the Pig Roast could have happened anywhere and the block party’s alcohol-related incidents, 29 in all, accounted for .005 percent of the 6,000 estimated to have been in attendance.  The news stories these events generated had shock value,  but a look at the facts, including police reports and eye-witness accounts, will show that “mega parties” are frequently well-regulated by the complexes that host them and are, overall, fairly safe.  If the township hopes to ban “mega parties” to promote safety, we suggest they just be honest about it.

What’s more concerning is that the language of these ordinances could effectively ban any party with some type of outdoor amplification.  If a party has more than 10 guests and at least two prohibited acts occurring, such as underage drinking or littering, which realistically, are commonplace, the host can be fined between $500 to $1,000 and must reimburse police for responding.  Sorry Slippery Rock, no Labor Day cookout next year.

To conclude, we suggest the township review the facts.  Students make up two-thirds of Slippery Rock’s population; we’re the ones that are affected by the lack of a police force in the township and the lack of a sidewalk and lighting leading to The Grove.  If safety is the goal, let’s talk about those issues, because noise and students who are just trying to enjoy the weekend aren’t the real problems.  These ordinances will leave us with a boring town at no one’s benefit.


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