Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
If you’re thinking about attending any on-campus party, there is one thing the Party Associate (PA) program would like you not to forget: your college ID. Students attempting to enter college parties this year without theirs have found themselves being turned away instead of simply being allowed in. This unexpected surprise to some is the result of an effort by the PA program to ensure that their policies are being enforced more strictly than they have been in recent semesters.
According to Director of Student Activities Jenny Yim, “there are no new policies…the enforcement is a bit more of a crackdown.” Yim explained that the College deans and the PA program simply are interested in making sure all of their rules are followed by all Party Associates–something they were concerned did not happen often enough in the past.
The first policy which tends to come into question is the requirement of identification. Yim explained that all students must have Swarthmore College identification present at the door of the party so that the PA can mark their hands as being of drinking age if appropriate. Students are also only permitted to have one guest at any party, and that guest must be signed in on a form that the Party Associate brings. In doing so, the Swarthmore student takes responsibility for his/her guest and the guest’s actions–something very important in case there is damage or injury caused by the guest. Lastly, students are not permitted to bring alcohol outside of a policy–something PAs are supposed to check as students leave the party.
Yim stressed that the PA program is a service offered to party hosts by the College. The hosts retain ultimate responsibility for checking hands and not serving alcohol to those under 21. If there is a legal issue, the person who signed the party permit will be held liable. Still, the PA program is there to provide the service of assisting students in throwing parties. “The reason we do that is so students can watch out for each other,” Yim explained.
Asked what constituted a party that required a PA, Yim explained that any event which expected to have more than 25 people gathered in any location necessitates the possession of a clearly posted College party permit–even if the party is private. Most parties that are open to the Swarthmore community are also open to TriCo as a convenience, Yim added.
Have these efforts been effective? Yim responded in the affirmative, crediting PA Coordinators Jaky Joseph ’06 and Rob Buechner ’05 with making sure everything was in order: “ever since training, the PA coordinators have circulated the parties to make sure PAs are doing their jobs.”
Not all Swarthmore students seem to be aware of the PA enforcement. When asked what he thought of the PA program’s efforts, Benjamin Oldfield ’07 asked: “do they check IDs at parties?” Swarthmore’s peer institutions do, however, have similar identification policies; Ursinus College (Collegeville, PA) student Antoinette Gardner ’07 said that at her school parties always check IDs, noting that “at least you have a good idea of who’s there…it doesn’t seem like a huge hassle to me.”
In closing, Yim stressed that students should be understanding that PAs are just trying to do their jobs, and that bringing IDs to parties will go a long way towards alleviating long lines outside Olde Club and Paces on the weekends.