Duck fans are known for getting rowdy after a home game. Walk down any street in the West University Neighborhood after Oregon routs an opponent and it’s pretty obvious that people love football, sometimes loudly and obnoxiously.
When you combine a Duck win with the last weekend of the summer, things get a bit hairy. That’s easily when the Eugene and University of Oregon police departments are at their busiest. In 2010, things got so bad around Ferry Street that more than 50 police officers from Eugene and beyond had to respond to a myriad of parties that had converged and gone wrong — approximately 400 partygoers got so rowdy that tear gas had to be used to subdue them.
“It was definitely out of control, and I’m not surprised by what happened with the police,” political science major Colin Larie told The Emerald shortly after the incident.
Earlier this year, the Eugene City Council voted to institute the Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings, known among students as the Social Host Ordinance. For the new or uninitiated, that means that antics that once earned you a noise complaint and a stern finger-wagging from the police can now result in fees of up to $1,000 and a bill from the city, complete with line items for police and emergency response.
On April 8, one week after EPD began enforcing the policy in earnest, seven students were cited for Social Host Ordinance violations near 18th Avenue and Mill Street. The offense? Hosting a party where attendance topped 100 while underage drinking ran rampant and a minor was rushed to the hospital to be treated for alcohol poisoning.
The Office of the Dean of Students offers the following tips in order to avoid similar predicaments:
• Verify the age of your guests
• Control the access to and quantity of alcohol at your party
• Get to know your neighbors and let them know before you have people over
• Keep the noise down
• Is someone you don’t know trying to get into your party? Keep them out.
Additionally, students have found success calling EPD on their own parties when things get out of hand or even hiring private security to keep things under control.
Keeping a courteous, if not friendly, relationship with your neighbors goes a long way, too. If you haven’t moved into your new digs yet — or, alternately, if you’re moving into a new house or apartment — knock on your neighbors’ door and get to know each other a little. Share a six pack of Mountain Dew if you’re marathoning Halo together, Blue Moon if you’re sitting on a porch and shooting the shit, or Capri Suns if you’re really children at heart (aren’t we all?)
But this is probably the easiest tactic to avoid a visit from the police and maintain a reputation as a good neighbor: Don’t host 100-person ragers in a residential neighborhood on a Monday night. Do the opposite of what the first students charged with Social Host Ordinance violations did and you’ll be sitting pretty.