(Our house on the 900 block of) Dana Avenue was a temple built for absolute collegiate freedom. Week in and week out, the tenants of the Avondale mansion would host parties the size of which could never be attained in the smaller houses that Norwood provided. Everyone from athletes to nerds would partake in the weekly madness that would ensue. Students of the Xavier community would endeavor on the weekly pilgrimage up Dana Avenue to achieve a drunken form of glory that could not be realized anywhere else on campus. Alcohol would flow throughout the house in a fashion similar to the biblical images of the land of milk and honey.
It was not all fun and games, however. Tenants of the house would be stuck living in a house filled with astronomical amounts of beer cans and shattered glass. As the school cracked down on the house, the partying digressed to the point that the inhabitants of the house lived in discomfort. Electricity would consistently flicker in and out for weeks at a time. The furnace, in the dead of winter, stopped working. Ceilings collapsed in the middle of the night. The house was finally fighting back against a Xavier community that had abused it for over a decade.
Along with the house physically falling apart, younger students, yet to find their tolerance for alcohol, began frequenting the house to the extent that it became dangerous. Students too drunk to function had to be carried off the premises. Others attempted to start fights with the tenants who only tried to manage the anarchy. The freedom of the ultimate off-campus partying experience had finally gotten to the point where it became a danger to everyone involved.
Along with these comparatively minor threats, the biggest hazard would always be looming over the house. If a student were to get too inebriated and do something that would land him or her in the hospital, the blame would subsequently fall on the house, landing the tenants in possible lawsuits for years to come.
In this age of freedom and opportunity for youth, the last thing you want as a 21-year-old is to pay fees from a grab bag of court fees and consequent fines because some freshman you have never heard of got a concussion on the walk home from a party at your house. It simply isn’t worth your time or your hard-earned money.
Off-campus parties have been a staple to Xavier nightlife since the school’s inception, and I am not about to stand here and say that they are a terrible and unreasonable act against the university. That being said, it is important to know the people you are inviting to your house and surrounding yourself in an environment in which negligence and ignorance do not potentially ruin someone’s life. The students that attend this school are generally smarter than most, and it’s time we started acting like it.
-Ardag Hajinazarian, ‘14