On March 16th and 17th, college students from Cornell University and around the country gathered at the Ivy League school to discuss party culture. The students worked on coming up with ideas on how to re-create a safer party scene.
The brainstorming session included three components. The first was to “understand” partying at schools across the country and to take notes from that, followed by what obstacles there might be in trying to change the party scene. Finally, the last segment focused on “action steps” and what achievable methods can be taken at the students’ own universities to create a safer party culture.
While the workshop group collaborated to come up with various solutions, they kept in mind that every university is different. Some have Greek life while others do not and the culture of partying ranges from school to school. Cornell junior Dustin Liu, one of the meeting’s organizers, made sure to address this throughout the session.
“One of the main things we saw was that it was really important to acknowledge how different campuses have different party cultures,” said Liu.
Liu went on to make a point that, while most students attend parties that they are invited to or are in conjunction with an organization that they are involved in, the overall party scene is not as open as it could be. Liu also suggested that upperclassmen might have a tendency to “coach” underclassmen on how partying is “supposed to be,” too.
“We think that a large component of that is the lack of community that students may feel, which creates an unsafe culture where they don’t necessarily feel supported,” Liu said. “Many people shared that upperclassmen perpetuate the culture that they themselves do not necessarily agree with.”
Cornell has a student-run organization on their own campus, Cayuga’s Watchers, that takes monitoring parties into their own hands to ensure safety at all times. Cornell sophomore and president of the group Lauren Goldstein proposed that universities take the idea of having their own version of Cayuga’s Watchers on their own campuses.
“That being said, it wouldn’t necessarily work on every campus, because of the different party cultures and campus environments,” said Goldstein.
Overall, students who attended the meeting were satisfied with the outcome of the brainstorming session and hope to implement some of the ideas presented on their own university campuses.