Yes, the Rules Apply to You, But…

When I threw my first on-campus party in college, I filled out the paperwork to request University space in meticulous detail, and well in advance of the date in question. I’d like to say I was organized, but the truth is, I was in genuine terror that the space I wanted–it was sort of an art-deco ballroom–would vanish, if I didn’t have each and every t crossed and i dotted. (To be fair, it probably would have.)

Full disclosure: None of my parties were raging keggers. In general, music, dancing, art, and some kind of entertainment and a more **ahem** intellectual crowd.

Well, I showed up at the appropriate office with the appropriate forms, and an estimated crowd of 200. (I had done the math, people. 200. A round number with reasoning behind it and –hindsight–not all that far off what actually showed up.)

And the secretary promptly hands me another form.

I need to go to the University Police Department to get it signed. Not permission to throw a party paper. Just an acknowledgement that they had been informed that I was going to throw a party.

So, I trudge all the way to the University Police Department office. Which was on the other end of campus, at the ass end of nowhere. I’d never been there before, and, while the place was technically open, the guy I actually needed to talk to wasn’t there, but I could wait.

I waited.

Partly because he was supposed to be back “soon” and partly because I didn’t want to have to come back. (Really, this was nowhere. It was right next to the place you had to go to pick up a snow plow.)

Well, after a while–it did not seem like “soon,” but maybe it was–he did show up. He was old enough to be my father, and more “teddy bear” than “pit bull.”

He chatted for a while, and signed the paper.

And then, he explained the hierarchy of Parties on Campus. I needed to hire police for gatherings with an estimated attendance of (I think it was 400) or more. I needed acknowledgement from the police for parties of two hundred or more.

“And if I were you,” he said,  as he handed me my form, “I wouldn’t come out here again.”

After that, my parties always had an estimated attendance of 199 people.

Yes. The rules apply to you. But then again, why throw a party for 200 people, when a party for 199 is so much more convenient?


    • Reply

      Probably were. I doubt he mentioned it to the people who showed up the week of, and looked like they’d just woke up, though.

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