Large student populations can influence the dynamics of a nightlife district. Likewise, nightlife can have a direct impact on students, colleges/universities and the broader community. This Sociable City Guide covers four unique nightlife challenges faced by college communities: off-campus housing (i.e. house parties), pre-loading, party buses and sexual assault. This guide is an interactive e-learning curriculum with case studies, news reports and innovative strategies.
HOW DOES A CITY'S NIGHTLIFE RELATE TO A COLLEGE COMMUNITY?
Socializing: What College is All About. Life is about relationships. College is where students learn how to socialize. Throughout college, students create meaningful relationships with peers, love interests and the community.
Socializing and Alcohol in College: Drinking is often part of the college social experience. The way in which college students socialize with alcohol can create unique risks and impacts on their community. College communities with active nightlife face unique challenges.
WHAT'S NIGHTLIFE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Student behavior off-campus matters. In fact, what happens at house parties and nightlife venues can have a ripple effect in your community, especially if a student is injured, assaulted or dies. Poorly planned and managed nightlife with a rowdy reputation can have a direct impact on colleges/universities and the broader community.
IMPACTS ON THE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY
-Decreased student enrollment
-Increased student drop-out rate and expulsion if they are involved in an incident
-Concerns expressed by parents over the safety of their students.
IMPACTS ON THE COMMUNITY
-Hostile dynamic between college administrators, students, long-term residents and business owners
-Greater number of complaints from residents
-Decreased quality of life for residents
-Increased impacts and risks to public safety
-Lower property values and lower community standards when property is not well-maintained
NIGHTLIFE CHALLENGES IN COLLEGE TOWNS
Demographic and lifestyle trends are creating special challenges in cities and towns with large or growing student populations, especially when nightlife districts are close to campus or student housing. The following are four unique challenges identified requiring special focus and solutions. The Sociable City Guide for College Communities provides additional background and collection of case studies and promising practices for each.
OFF CAMPUS HOUSING
Growth of student housing creates new burdens on infrastructure and blurs the line between campus and community. College administrators work hard to educate students about being good neighbors. Still, residents bear the brunt of negative impacts: house parties, noise, litter, bio-waste, vandalism, parking and traffic. Learn ways to connect students with neighbors and ensure student accountability for behavior off-campus.
Party buses grew in popularity in part because of increased awareness of impaired driving. This new trend brings an alarming set of risks, including underage drinking, pre-loading, injury or death. Party bus accidents occur nationwide due to rowdy and intoxicated passengers, faulty safety features, poor maintenance and unprofessional drivers. Learn how legislators are creating statewide policies to keep riders safe.
Students pre-load at house parties, tailgate parties, in cars, parks and fields to bond with peers, gain confidence and save money when going out to nightlife venues. Yet, intoxication can be detrimental to relationship-building and may increase liability to the venues students patronize. Discover more about the many risks associated with pre-loading and promising practices to address this potentially harmful activity.
College-age females are at the highest risk of experiencing sexual violence. Alcohol can be a factor in sexual aggression and assault. Therefore, nightlife venues are ideal settings for prevention programs. Learn about cutting-edge campaigns from around the world to train staff, encourage and empower bystanders to intervene with predators, and ultimately help change social norms for appropriate behavior in bars and nightclubs.
SPECIAL THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The Sociable City Guide for College Communities was supported by a grant from Diageo and volunteers serving on RHI's College Advisory Board. It has been endorsed by the International Town and Gown Association (ITGA).