Editorial: An in-depth look at party culture at Whitworth

Party Houses

The idea that both a physical structure and a house name can implicate to over 350 students that parties are thrown at this location, is a semi-unique concept to Whitworth. At Whitworth a “party house” is an off-campus house that throw or host parties which are often spread by word of mouth or social media.

Despite new residents and the houses even moving location year to year, the party houses are still recognized by their names. The names of houses can coincide with the sports team living in the house, its geographical proximity to other landmarks around the area or negative-sounding phrases.

The reputation these houses gain through throwing parties often stays with the houses even after new residents decide to stop throwing parties or residents take the name of a party house to a new location, leaving the old structure with the connotation of party house. At Whitworth, students associate the names of houses and their locations with partying more than with the people who throw the parties.

Survey results

This week the members of a house and other individuals, listed in one of the online surveys about Whitworth party culture, approached the Editorial Board with concerns that by the Whitworthian printing their house’s name the residents’ on campus reputation and future job prospects would be damaged. The residents believed the survey and the upcoming Whitworthian issue was labeling their house as a “party house” and dividing the residents from other students who do not party.

This divide, and the party culture that exists at Whitworth, is the exact topic the editors desired to create a dialogue around through the information gathered from the surveys. Believing a divide exists on campus between students who do and do not party, the Whitworthian wanted to take a deeper look at the subculture of parties and how students on both sides of the divide feel about the other.

Originally, the surveys were sent out to gather information that would be used to create an informational graphic representing where, why and how Whitworth students party. Due to the controversial nature of this topic some opposition was expected, but we did not intend to alienate students.

The reaction that came after the surveys was concerning as we discovered the surveys unintentionally offended students; however, the divide the houses spoke of gave us reason to continue with the theme of our issue. The editorial board feels addressing the sometimes hostile, contrasting feelings between students who party and students who do not is crucial to creating a healthier environment for all Whitworth students.

Ultimately the decision to not print the names of the houses listed in the surveys or suggested in the “other” category was made after considering the validity and wording of the surveys themselves and how important the names of the houses were to the Whitworthian’s goal of addressing the party subculture. It was established that even without naming the houses, party culture at Whitworth could be discussed. The decision to exclude specific house names was not made out of the fear of houses or individuals feeling offended by their houses name appearing in print.

The Editorial Board feels the party houses around Whitworth became party houses well before the surveys went out last week. The houses became known as “party houses” through social media and word of mouth references to the house names, which often include negative connotations, and the parties they throw. By naming the houses in the survey the Whitworthian did not create the party house label, the paper merely brought a rarely discussed issue to the surface of public discussion.

No, I Don’t Party. here’s why:

“For the love of God, my grandparents and parents didn’t pay an accumulative of $30,000 for me to party my head off. They paid for me to get an education and work hard. I don’t understand these people who go out and party constantly, blows my mind.”

“It conflicts with my religious beliefs; I also do not see the appeal in intoxication in order to have fun. I am perfectly able to have a lot of fun without drinking alcohol or having to alter my perception on the world. I am confident without feeling the need to appease the social pressure to drink. ”

“I don’t need alcohol to have fun.”

“I don’t think partying is necessarily bad, but it has never appealed to me. I just prefer to spend my weekends doing something more relaxing and conducive to forming meaningful connections.”

“Whitworth parties are lame and the people who go to them are intolerably dumb.”

“Because I’ve been to parties and had to deal with drunk people and I don’t trust those around me. I’ll only drink if I’m in a safe place with people I trust. Just because Whitworth is a “nice” school doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen.”

Yes, I Party. here’s why:

“Time to relax and hangout with friends. You’re probably thinking that this can be done in other ways as well. And that is true. But I think it’s fun do go play some beer pong and meet new people in an environment where you won’t be judged.”

“This is how I get to see my friends that aren’t in my classes or immediate friend group. This is also how I meet new people. To be able to attend these off-campus parties and be with these people is something I enjoy, alcohol or not. I go sober too.”

“To become a legend.”

“It is fun to see everyone outside of class! I love gathering with a ton of people I know and listening to music. It’s fun getting drunk.”

“Because it is fun and I know how to handle myself and only put myself into situations where I am in control and around people I know and trust.”

“I partied a lot more as an underclassman because I wanted to meet people and it kind of gave me a thrill. I don’t really do it as much now because I have my group of friends and I’m 22 and I like to just drink at my house instead of with 60 other drunk annoying people.”

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Responses are from an email survey of 415 students. Some submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

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