A costly part of college life

Shannen Von Alt

Partying is often considered just a normal part of college life, but it can be dangerous and have severe consequences.

“When partying, it is important to look out for your well-being,” Crime Prevention Officer Alice Ickes said.

Before going out, students need to consider their safety and make plans to ensure it, she said.


Underage drinking is illegal, and students are subject to university discipline and legal action if caught.

“We know that drinking happens at parties, and the biggest concern for us is that people are being safe,” Ickes said. “If people choose to drink, they need to be responsible.”

Before going out, students should make a plan for the evening that includes safely getting there and back, consumption control and an emergency strategy. It is good to know who is hosting the party, the agenda of the party and the area to arrange for proper transportation.

Ickes said students should always go with another person or a group of friends.

“Talking before you go is vital,” she said. “A plan should be devised, and you should always stick together and watch each other carefully.”

While alcohol is prevalent at parties, drinking is not a requirement of attending. If students choose to drink, knowing their limits can save their lives.

“A lot of students feel the need to drink to be part of the party, but drinking too much is a real problem,” Ickes said. “It can lead to fights, bad judgment, blacking out and alcohol poisoning.”

Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes too much alcohol. Death can occur, so calling 911 right away is important.

Students may also make choices they otherwise would not.

“A lot of time, students may choose to engage in activities, such as fighting or sex, they otherwise would not,” Ickes said. “Having self-control can avoid trouble and tragedy.”

If anything goes wrong during a party, it is important to get away from the situation and call the police. Students should not be nervous to call the police, as officers can help.

After the party

When leaving a party, students should walk in well-lit areas with friends.

“Walking home, especially after consuming alcohol, can be extremely difficult,” said Lt. Chris Jenkins of the Kent State University Police. “It is important to walk in areas where other people may be just in case you pass out or fall and hurt yourself.”

Kent State police officers patrol the campus at night in cars and on foot to be accessible to students.

“If you need directions, help walking or getting home, we are here,” Officer Miguel Witt said. “Students should not be nervous to come to us. It is better to get help and be safe.”

Unsafe partying can result in severe consequences. Legal action and academic discipline will be taken against students violating the law and university policy.

“Besides legal prosecution, court costs, fines and possible jail time, students are subject to academic suspension and even expulsion,” Ickes said. “Students may also miss classes, miss assignments or miss work because of excessive drinking or partying.”

Even if students are caught drinking off campus, they are still subject to university discipline.

“There are other options for students,” Ickes said. “There are a lot of late-night programs and activities for students to go to. It is better to meet other people without alcohol because you can really get to know them and have fun.”

Contact police and courts reporter Shannen Von Alt at [email protected].