Publics are back — enjoy responsibly
After two years, public parties are finally coming back. Two out of four classes of undergraduates have never had the opportunity to attend a public, while juniors had their one year with public culture cut short. Many members of the Rice community are unfamiliar with public parties and all they entail, while others’ experiences are two years removed and they are eager to return to the parties of their underclassmen days.
As the return of public parties approaches, the Thresher feels a similar sense of anticipation, but we urge our fellow students to truly embody the culture of care that Rice boasts. Look out for your peers, make sure to support each other in drinking and partying responsibly and be willing to step in and offer assistance. Don’t hesitate to bring someone a glass of water, utilize bystander intervention training from CTIS or, if and when necessary, reach out for additional help.
Rice has an alcohol policy that focuses on the reality of college life rather than a poor mimicry of prohibition, and this comes with certain responsibilities. Given the amnesty policy offered to underage students in need of medical attention relating to alcohol, it is our responsibility as members of the community to reach out when that medical attention is needed.
While junior and seniors are eager to return to the parties they remember from before COVID, this is a time to recognize that they are the only classes who have experienced large parties like publics; in the case of Beer Bike, only seniors have attended the event on a fully wet campus. Even Dis-O took form in parties scattered across different days and times. Upperclassmen should use their experience to set an example for younger students of what a healthy party culture should look like and to look out for their younger peers.
Other groups on campus are aware of this. Students Transforming Rice Into a Violence-Free Environment and the Student Association’s Sexual Assault Prevention committee have been working on addressing the double red zone for sexual harassment which will surely pop up again as publics return and students engage with large parties for the first time.
We all deserve to have fun and enjoy ourselves after the last two years, but we need to do so safely. So look out for your peers and show them what culture of care really means.
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