Editor’s note: This post is intended to provide a realistic and helpful picture of the undergraduate drinking culture at Georgetown. The information in this post is generally common knowledge and does not come from The Voice’s personal experience. The Voice does not endorse breaking any laws.
As bars continue to close across Georgetown, and local police continue to crackdown on off-campus parties, the next few years will undoubtedly see an influx of on-campus partying for Hoyas. Fortunately enough, this does not mean an end to Georgetown’s party scene.
For incoming freshmen, the increase in on-campus partying will be a boon. The first six weeks will be chock-full of parties hosted by various clubs and (unofficial) fraternities that are recruiting newbies. So pour yourself another drink or shotgun that beer. Here’s a guide to partying on the Hilltop.
Parties: Where They Happen, and How To Get In
The vast majority of on-campus parties occur in where upperclassmen live: Henle Village, Villages A and B, and Nevils. This means you don’t have to leave the front gates to rage, but because apartments have limited space, it also makes for an extremely cramped and sweaty party environment.
Many parties will have someone standing at the door. The easiest way to get past this obstacle is to say that you’re interested in joining whatever organization is hosting the party. Knowing someone is also an excellent in, but is quite difficult to pull off at the start of freshman year.
Another method to use is hallowed “ratio” of girls to guys in your group. There should be at least three girls to a freshman guy in any group if the guy wants a prayer of getting into the party. Large groups will also generally be turned away at the door, so don’t bring all of New South 4 to the party even if the entire floor is like already best friends for life.
Once the first six weeks of freshman year pass and things calm down, the best bet for having guaranteed access to parties is to join a club or team. Eventually, freshmen will be able to get into any party that their club is hosting, which makes for a much less stressful nightlife. Joining clubs will also connect first-years with upperclassmen, who can become an invaluable resource.
The Art of the Pregame
The pregame is one of the most vital parts of the party experience. Pregames will usually start at around 9 or 10 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday night, and, for freshmen, are generally held in New South, thanks to its larger rooms and endless corridors. Pregames in Harbin and Darnall are common as well, but can depend on the floor’s RA and the location of the room. A word of caution: RA’s will very often write up loud pregames, so think twice before you start blasting the latest Justin Bieber song.
Since pregames are generally smaller, they are an excellent opportunity for freshmen to actually meet and talk with each other, before the drunken haze of the actual party commences. They last about an hour or so. It’s vital for freshmen not to drink too much at the pregame, which could potentially lead to over-inebriation and a quick end to the night. A friendly game of beer pong may take place as well, so accept the fact that “house” rules are still a thing even if the room is the size of a closet.
Ensuring the Flow of Alcohol
For the most part, getting alcohol at Georgetown isn’t too hard. Being able to find a drink at the party can be hit or miss, so while it is important to pace yourself during the pregame, keep in mind that the host does not want to buy beer for 100+ people.
Dixie, Potomac, and Towne are the three closest liquor stores to campus. Each has a varying difficulty of success with a fake ID. Confidence is key when using your fake at these places, but always know the consequences before breaking the law.
Wisey’s, on the other hand, is your one-stop shop for guaranteed beer and wine. While you can’t hand the cashier a piece of paper with “I swear I’m 21” written on it and a 10$ bill underneath it, most people can pick up there with relative ease.
Bars are a different animal in the District altogether. In reality, most Georgetown students can survive their pre-21 lives, while maintaining their “cool” status, without ever stepping foot into a bar. If you do try your luck with a fake, though, know that many DC bars are notoriously strict on IDs. Unfortunately, freshmen this year will miss the fabled Rhino Bar and Pumphouse, both of which closed recently and had an extremely lax reputation for fake IDs. Just be aware that bouncers out in DC are less forgiving of a college student with a fake than your friendly, neighborhood Wisey’s employee is.
“Binge drinking” is the consumption of five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in the span of two hours, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting drunk fast may be fun at first, but serious health risks can arise.
Georgetown’s Emergency Response Medical Service, or GERMS, is a key part of ensuring alcohol safety. Every freshman should save GERMS’ number, 202-687-4357, in his or her phone. If a friend has had too much to drink, is unresponsive, or is vomiting profusely, do not hesitate to call that number and have an ambulance come pick him or her up.
It is always being better safe than sorry. Thanks to a “Good Samaritan” law in the Student Code of Conduct, neither you nor your friend will get in trouble for alcohol possession and consumption if GERMS is called. A campus police officer is required to accompany GERMS to all calls, but the officer is not mandated to file an alcohol-related incident report about the intoxicated student.
The best way to avoid getting “GERMSed” is to set a drink limit for yourself at the beginning of the night, to eat a sizeable meal beforehand, and to mix non-alcoholic drinks in with the alcohol. Setting this limit is often easier said than done, but most people at Georgetown will understand if you pass on the next round of shots. Also, ensure that friends are around who can take care of you if something goes wrong, and be willing to return the favor.
The moral of the story? Stay with friends throughout the night, be responsible when you drink, and join plenty of clubs to expedite the process of getting into parties.
File photo: Georgetown Voice