This Monday, as reading week begins, party permits will stop. As has long been policy, large parties cannot be held once classes have ended. While we in part understand the rationale behind this policy, we do not think that it is necessary. Students should be allowed to choose how they spend their time, as they are allowed for the rest of this semester, and so party permits should be issued — even during reading week and finals.
It is important that students have the ability to study in peace, particularly in their own dorms, but the policy stops there. To this end, we suggest that during finals party permits not be issued for any dorm spaces. With parties restricted to spaces not typically used for studying, there would be less disruption than on any typical weekend, while still allowing students to party if they choose. This compromise might bring an end to the hedonistic McCabe basement and Cornell second party scene, but we feel it may be a sacrifice the campus is willing to make.
Some might object that such parties would necessarily spill over into dorm spaces, even if the college does not issue party permits for them. But we are confident in the ability of RAs and residents to ensure that dorms stay relatively tranquil.
If the concern is more than that students might be disrupted by parties, namely that students should not be partying during finals, this would be overly paternalistic. At any other point in the semester, when there is no shortage of work to be done. Yet we’re free to do as we please, and party as we will. Only during finals does the college actively discourage parties.
Partying during finals period does not necessarily take away from work. Some may finish their finals early, and want to let loose before heading off for the summer. Others may have a long time before their finals begin, and figure that they can continue the festivities from Worthstock without hurting their academic performance. Some may still prefer Dionysian to Apollonian pursuits. Students should be the one to make these decisions, we should be allowed to judge for ourselves what we should do.
How and when students study should be our own business, not that of the college. The college does not act in loco parentis, nor should it. We don’t need the college to tell us that we need to study for finals, we should be trusted to realize that for ourselves. In this regard, our actions and choices can and should be our own responsibility.
The college is right to make sure that students are able to study without too much outside distraction during finals, but not issuing party permits during finals is unnecessary. Students are the best judge of what they should be doing, and decisions about how we spend our time should not be made by the college.