Making the decision to not attend parties does not include judging those who do attend

I do not know the first thing about party etiquette, but it is not fair to assume I would judge anyone because they do party.

Recently, my friends invited me to a Halloween party they were hosting. I was put off when someone asked me if I was uncomfortable with their partying. Another asked me: “Do you judge me for partying?” I asked her why she thought I would judge her. She told me how she thought I was uncomfortable with her partying because I do not drink or party like everyone else she knew.

No, I will not judge you. You have a right to do whatever you want, but it is a personal choice of mine not to party. My opinion about partying is different from other people's, but it should not be an issue or affect the friendships I have.

It was never in my best interest in high school to go out and party. My best friends and I devoted our weekend nights to watching movies, going out to eat and having deep conversations which continued late into the night. We never thought about partying because we did not want to drink or talk to people from school who we barely knew. Even if I were to go to one, I would not know the first thing about party protocol. Not everyone has the mindset partying is bad. It can be a great way to meet new people and form relationships.

Personally, I choose not to party because I think there are other ways to have fun. There should not be an automatic assumption I will judge someone because they choose to party. If people do not judge me for my lack of partying, then it is safe to assume I will not judge them because of their partying.

 

Skyler Noble

Columnist

Whitworthianopinion@gmail.com

Editorial: An in-depth look at party culture at Whitworth

Party Houses

The idea that both a physical structure and a house name can implicate to over 350 students that parties are thrown at this location, is a semi-unique concept to Whitworth. At Whitworth a “party house” is an off-campus house that throw or host parties which are often spread by word of mouth or social media.

Despite new residents and the houses even moving location year to year, the party houses are still recognized by their names. The names of houses can coincide with the sports team living in the house, its geographical proximity to other landmarks around the area or negative-sounding phrases.

The reputation these houses gain through throwing parties often stays with the houses even after new residents decide to stop throwing parties or residents take the name of a party house to a new location, leaving the old structure with the connotation of party house. At Whitworth, students associate the names of houses and their locations with partying more than with the people who throw the parties.

 

Survey results

This week the members of a house and other individuals, listed in one of the online surveys about Whitworth party culture, approached the Editorial Board with concerns that by the Whitworthian printing their house’s name the residents’ on campus reputation and future job prospects would be damaged. The residents believed the survey and the upcoming Whitworthian issue was labeling their house as a “party house” and dividing the residents from other students who do not party.

This divide, and the party culture that exists at Whitworth, is the exact topic the editors desired to create a dialogue around through the information gathered from the surveys. Believing a divide exists on campus between students who do and do not party, the Whitworthian wanted to take a deeper look at the subculture of parties and how students on both sides of the divide feel about the other.

Originally, the surveys were sent out to gather information that would be used to create an informational graphic representing where, why and how Whitworth students party. Due to the controversial nature of this topic some opposition was expected, but we did not intend to alienate students.

The reaction that came after the surveys was concerning as we discovered the surveys unintentionally offended students; however, the divide the houses spoke of gave us reason to continue with the theme of our issue. The editorial board feels addressing the sometimes hostile, contrasting feelings between students who party and students who do not is crucial to creating a healthier environment for all Whitworth students.

Ultimately the decision to not print the names of the houses listed in the surveys or suggested in the “other” category was made after considering the validity and wording of the surveys themselves and how important the names of the houses were to the Whitworthian’s goal of addressing the party subculture. It was established that even without naming the houses, party culture at Whitworth could be discussed. The decision to exclude specific house names was not made out of the fear of houses or individuals feeling offended by their houses name appearing in print.

The Editorial Board feels the party houses around Whitworth became party houses well before the surveys went out last week. The houses became known as “party houses” through social media and word of mouth references to the house names, which often include negative connotations, and the parties they throw. By naming the houses in the survey the Whitworthian did not create the party house label, the paper merely brought a rarely discussed issue to the surface of public discussion.

 

No, I Don't Party. here's why:

“For the love of God, my grandparents and parents didn’t pay an accumulative of $30,000 for me to party my head off. They paid for me to get an education and work hard. I don’t understand these people who go out and party constantly, blows my mind.”

“It conflicts with my religious beliefs; I also do not see the appeal in intoxication in order to have fun. I am perfectly able to have a lot of fun without drinking alcohol or having to alter my perception on the world. I am confident without feeling the need to appease the social pressure to drink. ”

“I don’t need alcohol to have fun.”

“I don’t think partying is necessarily bad, but it has never appealed to me. I just prefer to spend my weekends doing something more relaxing and conducive to forming meaningful connections.”

“Whitworth parties are lame and the people who go to them are intolerably dumb.”

“Because I’ve been to parties and had to deal with drunk people and I don’t trust those around me. I’ll only drink if I’m in a safe place with people I trust. Just because Whitworth is a “nice” school doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen.”

 

Yes, I Party. here's why:

“Time to relax and hangout with friends. You’re probably thinking that this can be done in other ways as well. And that is true. But I think it’s fun do go play some beer pong and meet new people in an environment where you won’t be judged.”

“This is how I get to see my friends that aren’t in my classes or immediate friend group. This is also how I meet new people. To be able to attend these off-campus parties and be with these people is something I enjoy, alcohol or not. I go sober too.”

“To become a legend.”

“It is fun to see everyone outside of class! I love gathering with a ton of people I know and listening to music. It’s fun getting drunk.”

“Because it is fun and I know how to handle myself and only put myself into situations where I am in control and around people I know and trust.”

“I partied a lot more as an underclassman because I wanted to meet people and it kind of gave me a thrill. I don’t really do it as much now because I have my group of friends and I’m 22 and I like to just drink at my house instead of with 60 other drunk annoying people.”

 

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Responses are from an email survey of 415 students. Some submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

Coaches set varying policies for their athletes regarding alcohol and partying

For Whitworth students, the Big Three define the rules and regulations that are expected of them. However, students who compete in Whitworth’s athletics face a different set of rules when it comes to alcohol and off-campus partying.

Additionally, the policies for athletes vary depending on the sport they play. The women’s soccer team has strict policies blatantly prohibiting any form of drinking during the season; however, other teams such as the football team have policies less specific concerning rules and regulations.

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The football team abides by the Big Three as laid out in Whitworth’s Student Handbook. However, the team has an additional set of values that is expected to be upheld by the athletes. The team’s “Be a Man” philosophy encourages athletes to take responsibility for their actions, avoid passivity, lead courageously and embrace God’s reward of a significant life. However, there is not much specific material concerning alcohol and partying.

“The more rules you have, the worse it is,” Head Coach Rod Sandberg said. “In our program we talk a lot about, not rules, but who do we want to be? Where’s our heart?”

Other than a couple of incidents, Sandberg has not experienced a large problem with athletes drinking and has not had to take serious action against any students.

“I couldn’t have a rule for everything they can’t do,” Sandberg said. “I want to talk about being a man and taking responsibility. You want to go a party and drink? You better accept responsibility for that.”

The athletes themselves see the “Be a Man” philosophy as a reasonable expectation for the football team. “They ask us to adhere to school rules, but also to consider the greater implications, even if you are of age, of what it means to be part of that culture,” sophomore Brad Benton said. “How does that reflect you not only as a football player, but as a person?”

Junior Noah Schultz-Rathbun sees the expectations as reflective. Even though the football team has 96 players, Schultz-Rathbun has seen no issue with drinking among his close friends on the team.

“Everything we do reflects on ourselves and on the team,” Schultz-Rathbun said. “I think about how everything I’m going to do is going to reflect on Coach Sandberg.”

While an ambiguous policy focused on responsibility and character has proven effective for the football team, not every Whitworth team has crafted identical policies.

The women’s soccer team signs a contract at the beginning of their season requiring them to commit to a dry season. The women are forbidden from drinking any alcohol during the season with the first offense resulting in a loss of 10 percent of an athlete’s season. A second offense results in removal from the team for the year and/or for the rest of their time at Whitworth.

During her last year of coaching the women’s soccer team before resigning, former Head Coach Jael Hagerott implemented the rule for the 2015 season to make the rules clear and eliminate any room for confusion. While the policy contrasts other teams, athletes have found it to be a reasonable and effective set of rules.

“Alcohol during season doesn’t help your performance,” junior Jenna Morris said. “There haven’t been any issues or oppositions to that.”

However, with different policies for each team, questions arise concerning different standards. With most athletes only playing one college sport, students like Morris see their policy as the best option.

“For our team, definitely [a] clean cut [policy] has worked really well,” Morris said. “Whereas, if it was vague, I think that could be more dangerous.”

However, Hagerott sees the freedom coaches have used as a tool to make their policies. While the specific policies are not identical, each coach has the ability to craft rules that will be effective for their athletes.

“What has happened in the past is that we have been given that freedom to come up with our own policy,” Hagerott said. “I feel like every coach has set a high standard. We just want to make sure, on the women’s soccer team, that we represent ourselves well at Whitworth and in the community.”

While different policies have been set for different teams, coaches seem to rely on the respect the athletes have for their sport to guide their actions. Whether that respect results in strict policies or ambiguous guidelines, is up to the coach.

 

Peter Houston-Hencken

Sports Editor

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at

phouston-hencken17@my.whitworth.edu

Students flock to U-Rec for Winter Carnival

A bounce house, bubble ball, an inflatable obstacle course and free popcorn were brought into the University Recreation Center (U-Rec) basketball courts to create a winter carnival aimed at getting students more familiar with the U-Rec facilities. On Friday night, students were invited to visit and familiarize themselves with the U-Rec while having a lot of fun in the process.

“We wanted to bring all of these things into a controlled, safe environment so students could have some fun,” said Todd Sandberg, director of the U-Rec. “There are a lot of activities that students may not particularly participate in just out of hesitation or reservation but hopefully this can reduce some of those anxieties.”

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The carnival featured a crate stacking competition where students were harnessed and had to climb and stack crates on top of each other in the middle of the basketball courts. Many students were eager to try the activity and found it to be an exciting challenge.

“Crate stacking was very hard,” freshman Nate English said.

Freshman Kaitlyn Halsted attended with a group of friends and found the event to be extremely rewarding.

“We have definitely been entertained well,” Halsted said.

Also offered at the carnival was bubble ball, a game which puts students in inflatables and lets them serve as human soccer balls.

“I didn’t know that I needed bubble ball in my life until I tried it,” freshman Joe Spencer said.

Friday’s carnival was the first event of its type hosted by the U-Rec.

“Because it was the first time we’ve ever done this it was really unknown how many students were going to come,” Sandberg said. “I think it has been really successful.”

Sandberg was first presented with the idea of the carnival at a recreation conference at Montana State University over the summer.

“They did something similar and it was really successful, so that spurred the idea,” Sandberg said.

The carnival helped to bring students into the U-Rec who may not usually use the facilities.

“We wanted to do something different and try to reach all students to bring them into the U-Rec,” Sandberg said.

Students were provided with information about the programs put on by the U-Rec, including Outdoor Recreation activities, while at the carnival.

“Hopefully we can get them on to the climbing wall or out into intramurals,” Sandberg said.

Along with providing a free, fun Friday night event, Sandberg hopes that the carnival helped alleviate some people’s fears about using the rec center.

“The U-Rec shouldn’t be intimidating,” Sandberg said. “Ultimately, about two-thirds of the student population come in here for one reason or another but our goal is always to bring more people in.”

 

Melissa Voss

Staff Writer

Contact Melissa Voss at

mvoss19@my.whitworth.edu

Sex, drugs and rock and roll not allowed: The language of The Big Three

No Cohabitation

“There is to be no cohabitation on campus...[T]he practical application of the policy requires that it be used... to address persons who spend extended hours of a night together, who sleep together, and/or who engage in genital contact even if it falls short of actual intercourse.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

That last phrase of the rule leaves room for interpretation. What counts as extended hours?

Resident directors were given two situations comparing a long-term relationship to a one-night stand.

If people are having one-night stands, advisers would most likely help focus on how those actions could impact the two students later, McMillan RD Matthew Baker said.

“There is room for a little interpretation in the gray area and that’s because Student Life philosophy is that we want students to become decision makers, not rule followers,” Baker said.

The gray areas also allow for different ways for individual situations to be addressed. While wanting to be consistent in disciplining for policy violations, Student Life also wants to be fair to residents, Baker said.

In long-term relationships, the discipline would be similar, but leaders would focus on this being an intellectual experience in which they build a stronger relationship, Baker said.

“[The gray area] allows for healthy relationships, and allows for students to take ownership,” Arend RD Michael Ames said. “Students get to set limits on things.”

Usually, initial contact with the resident is made by the resident assistants, such as Resident Assistant Ben Olson.

“For the well-being of the person and the relationship, I might address them differently,” Olson said. “This job is less about getting people in trouble, and more about helping people towards growth and self-betterment.”

Residents should not take this as an invitation to break the rules, but to make decisions in order to grow closer to their community, Baker said.

No Drugs or Alcohol

“There is to be no on-campus possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs/ mood-altering substances or controlled medication without a prescription.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

When someone has been accused of violating a Big Three, one question that arises during conversation, is the topic of trust. Baker prefers to trust his residents, because he is unhappy with the idea of a community that do not trust one another, he said.

“However, it can be difficult when what someone says doesn’t line up with the evidence, what other people say or even what they had said earlier,” Baker said.

At that point, consistency in documentation can help when they pass on the case to Dean of Student Life Timothy Caldwell.

Honesty between residents and Student Life is really a matter of integrity on the part of the student and a matter of creating a positive community for student life, Ames said.

“If we have these things, students will feel like they can approach us with the truth, or with their own concerns and issues,” Ames said.

“We have to document any events that might look like a policy violation,” RA Cass Busch said. “However, addressing the situation should begin with conversation.”

By speaking with residents about a Big Three violation, she is able to shed some light on the situation when talking to the RD and share her observations, she said.

No Disturbing the Peace

“There is to be no violent or destructive behavior or other conduct that threatens or endangers the safety or emotional well-being of any person on campus. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as fighting, vandalism, and any behavior that results in destruction or loss of property (including theft), or disruption of community life. This prohibition also includes, but is not limited to, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, and/or intimidation, as well as behaviors including assault, sexual assault, harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

One question of Student Life is how approachable they are for students who want to confess to a Big Three violation or to report one they have seen.

“People can be a little turned off by reporting someone else, or by getting in trouble themselves, it just depends on the relationship we have,” Olson said.

Having a conversation does not mean you are guaranteed a Big Three punishment on your record. Often it is just that, a conversation, said Busch.

“We talk it out and handle it in a positive way,” Busch said. “People should talk more often because we are friends as well as advisers.”

 

Parker Postlewait

Staff Writer

Contact Parker Postlewait at

ppostlewait16@my.whitworth.edu

Solo cup stand-off: How does Whitworth’s party scene compare to other colleges and universities’?

Whitworth is ranked 11 out of 21 in College Niche’s “2016 Top Party Schools in Washington.” The rankings are based on student opinion of a school’s “party scene and access to bars,” according to the website.

Based on a response of 80 students, Whitworth scored a three out of ve for the party scene and a “A-” on access to bars. Pacific Lutheran University, Northwest University and Seattle Pacific University are ranked 14, 16 and 18 respectively. Perhaps the party scene at Whitworth is not as “lame” as some people may believe.

One of “The Big Three” explicitly prohibits the possession, consumption or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs/mood-altering substances or controlled medication without a prescription, according to the student handbook. Residence Hall leadership collaborates with their residents to create “community building standards” which usually decided how late and how loud residents can be.

Those factors, and the fact that Whitworth does not have a Greek system, means the “party scene” on Whitworth campus is slim to none. Those regulations force parties beyond the pinecone curtain.

House parties—which the Whitworthian defines as an off campus event where alcohol is present, there is music and people are inebriated—near Whitworth are often held on the weekends. One party host said the purpose of their parties are to hang out with friends and have a fun time.

The occurrence and locations of parties are usually spread through social media or word of mouth. The party host gets people to his or her house by telling friends to come. Students have to know the right people, according to a review of the Whitworth party scene on College Niche.

Especially with a smaller community, it is often easy to identify where the party is located based on the number of people surrounding the house and loud music playing.

“Usually, I will set up beer pong with water in a common area and start playing music on the speakers,” a party host said about preparing for a party.

Beer pong and other drinking games are a common occurrence at those parties. Music is usually always playing for atmospheric effect and at least one group of people can be found dancing.

It is the volume of the music that often causes local law enforcement to get involved.

“Sometimes [the cops show up]; it depends on the location,” a party host said. “If so, they usually just ask to keep the noise down.”

About 50 to 100 people usually attend the parties, and they typically start at 10 p.m. and end at 2 a.m., the host said.

It seems Whitworth friendliness and decency is maintained at those parties, for the most part. The party host said the people attending their parties do not get particularly crazy. However, if people do get out of control, the party host said they would talk to whoever was acting up.

A party can end multiple ways. Sometimes the police show up and scare people away. Other times, word gets around that another party is occurring close by and people will leave to check it out or the host may decide it is time for the party to end and kick everyone out.

“The best part is socializing and making great memories with your friends and the worst part is having to clean up the following day,” a party host said. “I would rather attend [a party].”

While the party scene at Whitworth may not be as ”friendly and vibrant” as University of Washington or Washington State University—ranked one and two on College Niche’s “2016 Top Party Schools in Washington,” respectively—it is nonetheless present and active.

 

Rebekah Bresee

Editor-in-Chief

Contact Rebekah Bresee at

rbresee16@my.whitworth.edu

Let’s be friends! But first, do you party?

Students question whether close relationships between party-goers and non-party-goers are possible.

Many students said they find it difficult to build and maintain relationships when their friends party and they, themselves don't.

"I have a friend who definitely has a difficult time maintainting a close relationship with his friends who party," sophomore Sarah Dixit said. "I think going to a party is totally up to the individual, but it does shift the dynamic between friends, mainly if it’s negatively affecting the person without them realizing it.”

Other students said partying has not proven to interfere with relationships or school life in their experiences.

“I don’t see partying affecting grades or social lives,” sophomore Zachary Halma said.

Students who said they do feel there is a social divide claimed peer-pressure to party as a reason for why they didn’t believe the relationships worked. There is a lot of pressure on freshmen to explore and socialize off campus which can cause a rift between those not interested in partying and their roommates and hallmates who do, Resident Assistant Felicity Roe said.

“I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time around people who party because it is certainly telling of who they are as people,” freshman Abigail Hochberger said. “I try to surround myself with and build close relationships with people who are conscious about the choices they make on a daily basis, whether that is in how they spend their Friday nights or who they invite to sit with them at lunch. I don’t want to be in a situation to feel pressured to party.”

Sophomore Megan Escobar feels no pressure to party from other students who party here, and that students are very respectful about other student’s personal belief and decisions, she said.

However, partying can create an area of uncertainty amongst a hall or between roommates because students feel uncomfortable informing a RA about situations that involve alcohol, Roe said.

“Last year a friend of mine would come home from parties and other people would have to take care of them because they couldn’t take care of themselves,” Roe said. “It was hard on their friends and produced an awkward atmosphere, which isn’t the sort of thing we would cultivate here at Whitworth.”

 

Sarah Haman

Staff Writer

Contact Sarah Haman at

shaman19@my.whitworth.edu