From installing pools, allowing pets, and now throwing massive parties with attendance in the thousands, how much farther will big name SRU apartment complexes (The Heights, The Grove and University Village) up the ante in order to compete for tenants?
The Grove has their annual pool party, The Heights has an annual pig roast, which drew 3,000 people and this semester University Village hosted their fifth annual block party, with an estimated 4,000 attendees. Each year the parties get bigger, and are profusely advertised through the complex’s social media accounts.
Last April, The Heights created a twitter account called “Pig Roast 2K15,” which was taken down after the fact, and University Village retweeted multiple posts of people drinking and showing off their alcohol, as well as one tweet that said “#UVBlockParty15: drink every time you see a drunk freshman, a girl gets kicked off stage, and you see someone fall over.”
While we understand that hosting these types of parties attracts college-age students, what we don’t understand is how the social media managers at the apartment complexes think that promoting excessive, and possibly underage, drinking is appropriate, especially when encouraging heavy drinking can lead to people getting sick and injured, as well as lead to property damage.
Four people were injured at last year’s pig roast, including two women that were hit by an unoccupied car, and the party was eventually shut down by state police, according to the Butler Eagle.
At the block party this year four people were issued underage citations, and one guest assaulted a guard.
As the parties and the promotion get bigger, it can only be expected that more and more people will be getting sick or injured, and with the large crowds that these events draw, getting to people who are hurt will become more of a problem.
These types of events also cause people to litter apartment complexes with trash and broken glass, damage property and fight physically with each other, even going as far as assaulting guards, none of which contributes to the safety of the complex’s current residents. Shouldn’t the priority of the apartment complexes be in securing the safety and comfort of current tenants instead of entertaining prospective ones?
Does it really take a group of state troopers shutting down one of these events, as well as complexes holding police on standby “just in case,” to make people realize that hosting parties promoted as heavy drinking events with intent to recruit new tenants, who are most likely underage, is a terrible idea?
Because the university has no say in what off-campus housing complexes do, they cannot limit the extent of the parties that the apartment complexes choose to host. To compensate for the lack of university supervision, the PR office should send out a mass email warning students of the dangers of these types of parties, and a word on how party-goers can pace themselves if they decide to drink alcohol.
The apartment complexes should also have stationed medics, supplied with at least bandages and water, as well as have an ambulance on stand-by in the event that anyone is seriously injured. While this would cost a considerable amount of money, advertisements and a DJ also cost money, and a medic tent would give a sense of comfort to students who don’t live at the complexes, and don’t have a friend whose apartment they could stop in in the event that they get sick or hurt.