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Campus, city work together to keep house parties safe

September 9, 2003

University officials, in cooperation with the Madison Police Department, are stepping up efforts to educate students about how to keep campus-area house parties safe and under control.

The PACE Project, a campus-community coalition formed to reduce the dangers associated with high-risk drinking, recently released a student-created pamphlet, “Throwing a House Party.” The approach recognizes that some students will choose to drink, and that it’s important to provide them with information on how to be good neighbors and avoid incidents such as violence, noise, vandalism and sexual assault.

“It’s a more proactive approach,” says Dean of Students Luoluo Hong, who unveiled the effort last week with Madison Police Central District Captain Luis Yudice. “We’d much rather do this than wait until the party has gotten out of hand.”

For the past year, PACE has been promoting a cooperative, integrated approach to house parties, involving students, police, campus administrators, neighborhood association members and property managers. Later this fall, PACE and Madison police plan to hold a forum with landlords to discuss how they can participate in the process.

“We’ve come a long way from the party patrols of the 1990s,” says Aaron Brower, the project’s principal investigator and a professor of social work. “It’s not just a matter of calling in more police to solve the problem. Everyone is coming together to make sure that solutions are effective and fair.”