Variety in social options needed

Is “party etiquette” an oxymoron, or a new initiative launched by a college administration? It seems to be both.

The Office of Campus Activities recently out an email containing a set of partying guidelines. Though some of these guidelines are perfectly logical, some are completely unrealistic — such as “Do not allow drinking games” or “Make a manageable guest list and STICK TO IT!”

USC students should certainly be respectful of their neighbors, but the university can help the problem by being more sensible in its expectations of students.

These unreasonable suggestions point to a disconnect between what the university thinks will work and what will work in reality.

We can address off-campus partying by looking at why students party. USC does offer many great events, such as intramural sports or Visions & Voices, but these events usually don’t run at the times parties are occurring — evenings on weekends.  If an organization does run an event at this time, that event is usually a party — thus circling back to the original issue.

For car-less students, rallying friends together for a Zipcar requires a lot more planning than walking to a party, and public transit can seem intimidating to many students.

There is a discount for public transportation passes, but many people don’t know this program exists.  It should be more readily promoted.

What’s more, late-night options for socializing on campus are virtually non-existent. Ground Zero Performance Café could become a hub of late-night activity, but it closes at midnight. Ground Zero should expand its hours to become an option for socializing that doesn’t revolve around partying.  Coffee shops that stay open past midnight are a staple at some other colleges—why shouldn’t USC have one?

Email guidelines aren’t effective. Well-promoted on-campus socializing options would help reduce the number of wild parties and, thus, the number of irritated neighbors.


Tim Clayton is a junior majoring in narrative studies. His column “HypocriSC” runs every other Tuesday.