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Friday, Dec 19, 2014

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Police advise students of stringent party law enforcement


Ohio University students attending block parties this spring can expect to see a stricter enforcement of the Athens city nuisance party ordinance by police.

In a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon, Ohio University Police Chief Andrew Powers and Athens City Police Chief Tom Pyle said the stricter enforcement will be the greatest change to this year’s fest season.

“It’s something that has been used sparingly in the past; it’s something we started in the fall, when school started, with a much stricter enforcement of the nuisance party ordinance. We expect to carry that through all the fest season,” Pyle said.

The first of the spring block parties is slated to take place in the Mill Street area this weekend.

Offenses such as noise violations, littering, disorderly conduct and combative behavior are all examples of violating the city’s law.

Powers said safety is his primary concern during these annual events. He reminds students that they are responsible for what happens on their property.

“That civil liability can extend even to the point that, if you’re serving underage people who are going to leave your party and go off and get into a car accident because they were driving drunk, or something like that, can potentially come back to the people who served that alcohol at that party. So there can be a lot of far reaching consequences that people aren’t thinking about at the moment that they’re partying,” Powers said.

City leaders and University Off-Campus Living community assistants are going door-to-door with flyers to make sure students living in the area are aware of the expectations for this weekend.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Athens and University police have worked together during the spring house party season, but the first under the semester schedule.

“Chief Pyle and I have been having a lot of conversations about what that’s going to look like,” Powers said, adding that they are prepared to adjust their plans accordingly as the spring party season progresses.