Picture this: It’s a Thirsty Thursday, nearing ten o’clock at night, and you and your friends are making your way through Westwood looking for the location of the party invitation sent out that afternoon. Dressed in biker shorts, crop tops, and party sneakers, you and your crew are prepared for what the night brings.
Before the pandemic, I wouldn’t think twice about attending a party of fifty to seventy people in such a small space, but now with COVID and the recent disapproval of the traditions of party culture, let us rethink some of these decisions, as follows:
1.If you wish to dance with someone, ask.
I wish subjects like this did not require an explanation, but here we are. I have experienced my fair share of unexpected and unwelcome advances from desperate men that wish to “catch ass,” but these actions are so normalized that it is not thought to be rude and intrusive. But now as I reflect, I understand how problematic and uncomfortable that can be for women who only want to enjoy the company of friends. The same goes for men as well. Though many assume that forcing men to dance with them is harmless, some do not come to parties to be harassed or provoked to dance.
2.No more sharing drinks.
We should refrain from sharing drinks amongst a group of people, or rather, strangers. For one, that is truly a health hazard to share a drink with people you do not know, and two, in considering the pandemic and how these practices were generally distasteful, I can only hope that many of us do not partake in this once we are back on campus. This, unfortunately, includes the puff-puff-pass processes as well. If you do not know them or their whereabouts, please refrain from doing so.
To all my fellow students that throw parties, please consider having a function at a larger venue, or outside. Thinking of all the clothes I sweat out (and not just my sweat), this would be great for better air quality but also a way to avoid the clustering of bodies and the unwanted exchange of fluids or deadly odors that unfortunately flourish in those spaces.
This shift in party culture and etiquette will undoubtedly be safer but also improve the overall willingness to go to these functions with more certainty that there will be more space and less sharing of DNA. A good start to practicing these alternatives to safe parties would be to make a habit of having parties with smaller groups. Oftentimes you barely know half of the people going to these parties, let alone their recent whereabouts, and I am sure that only gathering with friends in a less cramped setting would make for a good time as well. Another custom I may suggest would be to bring your own drinks. This simple yet effective tip for one could save you money, but also would allow you to enjoy the drink of your preference. There are, of course, many other ways to practice safe partying but generally these suggestions are only for the safety and well being of you and your friends.