A New Nuisance Ordinance?
Recently, there has been talk of a nuisance ordinance from the State College Borough Council, and it may be put to a vote as early as next month. If passed, this regulation will hold party hosts responsible for the behavior of the drunkards they create, in hopes that property damage and late night disturbances to the surrounding State College denizens will decrease.
Up until now, nothing else has worked to alleviate the raucous nature of the number one party school in the nation. State College and Penn State have increase police patrols, implemented other local ordinances, and created alternative late night activities. In my opinion, though, this little law isn’t going to stop students from drinking either.
The council is overlooking the larger reason behind college drinking – it’s not as if students don’t know the risks or that it’s illegal or that they may bother other people. But I’m not about to open that can of worms. At this stage in most student’s lives, though, I think it’s safe to say that if a behavior such as alcohol abuse is ingrained in them, a silly little ordinance isn’t going to stop it. Sure, it will hold them accountable for their actions, which is a very good thing, but to think that it will make them put down the bottle for good is seriously naive.
The ordinance needs a good, long look. Police need viable means of enforcement to protect the rights of property owners, who in turn must give their support. And those that strongly support the new statute must be careful not to step on personal freedom’s toes (whether or not it’s fair to hold hosts accountable should be looked at on a case by case basis). Overall, this is a bandage solution in one town to a gapping, national wound that will have a minimal – if any – effect.