Sep 122011
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Party registration services are now offered year-round because of new funding provided to the program by the Associated Students of CSU.

When it first started in spring 2009, the Office of Off-Campus Life ran the popular program during August and September of the fall semester, and April and May of the spring semester.

“It was really just a trial at first,” said Adrienne Battis, assistant director of Off-Campus Life. “We’ve previously just absorbed the cost of running party registration. When we were wondering; how can we support that on a more long-term basis? ASCSU stepped up.”

ASCSU has provided the program with $10,000, or approximately $0.33 from each CSU student.
“If we didn’t have that funding, it would be a severe strain on Off-Campus Life. We may still be in discussions about how we can do this year-round,” she said.

Party registration is a service offered to CSU students and Fort Collins community members that is designed to warn its users when their event is getting too loud, before police officers issue noise citations to the hosts.

To register a party, individuals must visit the Office of Off-Campus Life, inform its staff when the date of the event is, how many people are expected to attend and leave two phone numbers where they can be reached and the address where the festivities will take place.

The office then turns over its information to Fort Collins Police Service emergency dispatchers.
“Then, if a neighbor is next to a party is having a hard time with the noise, they call dispatch, and the dispatch will look on the list of registered parties before putting an officer out on the street,” Battis said.

FCPS calls a registered party if a complaint has been lodged against them.

“If they’re able to quiet it down and the (neighbor) doesn’t call again, that’s the end of it,” Battis added.

But if, after 20 minutes, neighbors still have an issue with the loudness, police officers are sent to the scene and issue noise citations –– a ticket can total $1,000.

“We currently have a zero-tolerance policy on noise in Fort Collins,” Battis said.

Data from Off-Campus Life show that 641 parties have been registered in the program’s two-year history. Of those, 98.3 percent of registrants did not receive a noise ticket and 11.7 percent of registrants benefited from a warning call and did not receive a noise ticket. Only 1.7 percent required on-site police intervention.

ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg said the move to support party registration financially came after hearing the campus’ feelings toward the service.

“We got a ton of positive response from the students about the program,” Berlinberg said. “Students are going to party either way. We’re in a college town; it’s inevitable. So how do we make it so that the students win and the community wins?”

When campaigning for student body president, Berlinberg and his competitors promised to extend the party registration program.

Approximately 99 percent of students surveyed by Off-Campus Life said they thought it should be offered year-round.

Berlinberg cautions against the common misconception that students’ party information is shared with police officers in patrol cars, eager to issue low-level citations to minors in possession of illegal substances.

“They have too many things to do to actually care,” he said.

Chase Eckerdt, ASCSU’s director of government affairs, said that RamRide –– a safe-ride program provided through student government –– faced the same scrutiny when it made its debut in October 2003.

“With RamRide, we’d ask for students’ IDs and take their names down, and everyone thought that we would share it with the university so they’d know who was getting drunk on the weekends,” he said. “That’s absolutely not true.”

With party registration, Eckerdt said the list of students throwing events goes to FCPS dispatchers, and is only shared with police officers if neighbors complain about them.

“ASCSU is an advocacy organization,” Eckerdt said. “This is an idea that we see value in, so we ask, ‘How can we keep it going?’”

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

By the Numbers

I would register a party of mine again in the future.

83% Strongly agree

26% Agree

0% Neutral

1% Disagree

1% Strongly disagree

Out of 92 respondents.

Is 20 minutes enough time to break up your party?

56% Yes

22% No

22% Not applicable

Out of 18 respondents.

Did you receive a warning from police services on the evening you registered your party?

20% Yes

78% No

2% Not applicable

Out of 92 respondents.

Source: Student poll conducted by Office of Off-Campus Life

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