Last Thursday, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson agreed to student demands to repeal the one-keg restriction at campus parties, calling the measure a reasonable and promising approach to bringing student social life back onto campus. Though the keg ban was a misguided policy from the beginning, as it encouraged students to take their keggers off-campus while generating more trash and increasing the potential for open-container violations, we applaud Olson’s decision to recognize the on-campus social scene.
Thankfully, as the keg ban lift demonstrates, Georgetown’s administration seems to have finally embraced Georgetown Day as a celebration of, for, and by the campus community. The allowance will make students feel safer and more comfortable staying on the Hilltop to party, and as such, will send an important signal to students they will be left free to enjoy their annual day of revelry as they please.
However, the Georgetown University Student Association resolution, which called on Olson to lift the keg ban, also requested that the University monitor and regulate Georgetown Day daytime socializing in the same manner as weekend socializing, including noise allowances and monitoring by Georgetown officials. So far, administrators have declined to implement this part of GUSA’s resolution.
As policy currently stands, Georgetown Day parties will presumably be regulated much in the same way as social events on any other Friday afternoon. Not only does this protocol fail to reflect the reality of Georgetown Day, it may even detract from the success of the keg ban lift. Indeed, this inadequate policy could counterproductively encourage students to be more furtive with their alcohol consumption and to choose to throw parties off- instead of on-campus, further straining already contentious town-gown relations.
Students still remember the uncertainty surrounding last year’s Georgetown Day, when administrators told students as early as March that there was a lack of interest in planning the event. In reality, the University deliberately failed to solicit applications to join the Planning Committee as it had done in years past. As a result, students still mistrust the University’s handling of Georgetown Day, which plays into their incentives to hold parties off- rather than on-campus. With the perceived strictness surrounding Georgetown Day, students may also feel more uneasy about calling for emergency help in the case of alcohol poisoning.
Olson can announce via a student-wide email that, for enforcement purposes, Georgetown Day will be treated like a Saturday night, allaying student fears about hosting parties on campus. To ensure a safe and enjoyable Georgetown Day, we urge him to fully embrace Hoya tradition by doing so immediately.