Police Chief suggests ways to keep out of jail

Suzi Starheim

University officials go door to door on popular party streets

Listen to what Peach has to say about underage drinking.

Listen to Peach discuss “responsible citizenship.”

As students and parties return to Kent, University Police Chief John Peach says it’s not difficult to stay out of trouble.

While anyone can have parties without notification, Peach said the main problem with parties is they become loud and unruly.

“A lot of times, what we find is people hold parties in their houses and quite a few people find out about the parties through texting,” Peach said. “It becomes unmanageable and uncontrollable by the people who started the party.”

While this is often the case, Peach said those hosting the party are still responsible for the party, regardless of how many guests show up.

“It is always a rule to not invite people into the home and the party that you don’t know or can’t control,” Peach said. “The owners of the home are held responsible.”

Peach said this rule also applies fully to those renting homes and hosting parties.

“We think that we are very well-equipped and very well- planned to respond to anything that takes place,” Peach said. “And clearly I really hope that those people involved in parties drink responsibly if they are of age, and if they are not, don’t drink.”

Greg Jarvie, interim vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, said he walks door to door each year with the student government on University, Sherman, Lincoln and East College streets to spread the university’s message to those students living in homes in the areas.

“Our message isn’t to say you can’t party,” Jarvie said, “it’s to be safe and responsible and realize there are consequences for every action.”

Along with going door to door, Jarvie said they also speak with fraternities and sororities at the start of each school year.

“We are expecting the Greeks’ cooperation, leadership and responsibility,” Jarvie said.

While Jarvie said inappropriate and out-of-control behavior is stopped and directed to the Office of Judicial Affairs, he said the last thing he wants to see is any student having to be dismissed from the university.

“We are not here to throw students out,” Jarvie said. “It’s about safety and being a good neighbor.”

Jarvie said students would be punished by the university for unruly behavior, but the long-term effects of these incidences could be much more serious.

“Students need to understand it can end their college and professional careers,” Jarvie said. “Companies hiring will overlook students who have backgrounds.”

While unruly parties used to create a rift between Kent residents and the university, Peach said the city and the university now work well together on these issues.

“We team up and we are a partner in terms of hearing this information and collectively reducing the risk of having unruly parties take place,” Peach said.

Peach said another cause of parties getting unruly is the amount of non-students who attend.

“You often have outsiders capitalizing on these parties and making it that much rougher for people who are just trying to have a good time,” Peach said. “They often lose control over it because of these outsiders.”

Peach said not even 50 percent of the people arrested or cited are students.

Contact safety reporter Suzi Starheim at [email protected].