The ECOS Know your Limits Campaign had their first party “Omega Oldies” on the ground floor of Omega on Nov. 3 after Campus Safety continued to shut down balcony parties due to safety concerns.
According to the Omega Senator and Know Your Limits Campaign manager Donovan Pepin Campus Safety’s goal this semester is to shut down the parties on the balconies of the dorm complexes Nu and Omega because they are not safe. In the past, students have fallen off the balconies.
“No one minds a few students gathering outside a suite, but when you can’t literally walk around the inner walkway because it is so crowded, that is a dangerous situation. It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Dean of Students James Annarelli said.
According to Pepin, the party was located under Omega, in the parking lot, because he wanted to accommodate Campus Safety’s wishes to not have students on the balconies.
“It was kind of a cool vibe, kind of had the underground warehouse vibe, but also people could not stand on the inner balconies and see any of the music or croud,” Pepin said.
According to Pepin people falling off balconies is not the only safety issue with room parties. Campus Safety and EC-ERT do not have easy access to the suites, so they cannot help people as quickly as they might need to. Another issue is that the chance of assault is higher because the parties are not in an open space, and the chance for students to consume more alcohol than they should is higher.
“Getting kids out of their rooms gets kids away from their booze,” Pepin said.
In the past, Eckerd has had many issues regarding party safety. Last year non-Eckerd students would sneak onto campus and cause an array of problems from starting fights and stealing to sexual assault.
“We’ve had major challenges that are caused not by our own students, but by those from outside over whom we have no real sway,” Annarelli said.
Campus Safety implemented new rules and precautions this semester to ensure that trespassers are no longer an issue.
“We actually want them [students] to be on campus. We want them to have parties on campus. We want them to drink on campus if they’re of age, and if they’re gonna drink when they’re not of age we want them to drink on campus anyway,” President Eastman said.
President of ECOS Marissa Bradley is planning on renovating the space under Omega so it becomes a more appealing area for students to hang out. The administration is hoping that the improvement of this space will encourage students to not hang out on the balconies.
“It’s a parking lot, people don’t want to sit in a parking lot and party, they want to go to a nice, well lit area that doesn't seem like a parking garage,” Sophomore at Eckerd, Sophie Williamson said.
According to Pepin, there will not be another party at Omega’s courtyard in the fall semester of 2018 because the courtyard will soon be renovated, and The Know Your Limits Campaign has already decided the locations of the future parties.
ECOS plans on replacing the mulch with light sand, buying hammocks for the hammock stands, building a patio, puting seats in, and replacing the old vegetation with more appealing plants and flowers.
“My only concern is it will be really nice and I hope it doesn’t get destroyed,” Bradley said.