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“Party Legal” campaign revs up for spring fests

Ohio University and the City of Athens are once again teaming up to remind students to “Party Legal” during the spring block party season.

The “Party Legal” campaign was introduced in last fall in response to unsafe behaviors during some spring parties that led to arrests and, in some cases, suspension or expulsion from the University.

City and University officials will kick off the 2013 edition of the campaign with a press conference at 2 p.m. this Wednesday, March 13, in the City Council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 8 E. Washington St.

The campaign’s message is that partying is fine as long as everyone obeys applicable city and state laws. State law prohibits those under age 21 from consuming alcohol. The city of Athens’ “nuisance party” law allows the city to shut down parties for any one of numerous reasons, including noise, litter, disorderly conduct, and underage consumption or possession of alcohol.

“We want to educate students so they understand that these laws exist and they will be held accountable for obeying these laws,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, OHIO interim dean of students.

The campaign message is reinforced along three themes with simple steps to stay within the law:

  • Be Smart. Party hosts should ensure that guests drinking alcohol are age 21 or over. Keep drinks in the house or on the porch to avoid open container violations. Ask guests to stay on your property so they don’t block streets or sidewalks.
  • Be Civil. Keep noise—both music and conversation—at a respectable level. Music should be shut off by 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends. Respect neighbors’ property and confront vandalism if it occurs.
  • Be Safe. Clean up litter before and after the party. Let guests use your bathroom. It’s OK to ask belligerent or aggressive guests to leave—call the police if you need to. Make sure guests don’t throw anything outside your property bounds.