COLUMN: Ain’t no party like a safe party

Joanna Williams

Last weekend, I was with a few friends when one of them got a call that someone had been shot at a party at the Lava Lounge. Immediately, everyone went into a frenzy because they knew someone who was at the party. They began calling to check to see if they were okay.

As panic began to set in, we saw a police officer fly past the car we were in headed in the direction of Lava Lounge.

Almost simultaneously, word got out about a stabbing incident at the JC Pavillion, and police were rushing to that scene as well.

I wasn’t even on campus or at a party and I felt scared about all the things that were happening around Bowling Green at the time. And if people weren’t already frightened enough, there were WKU Alert texts sent out saying there had been a robbery on campus on Sunday night.

All in all, two people, WKU students, ended up being shot at the Lava Lounge, and another person at the Pavillion was treated for a stab wound. The events that happened last weekend delivered a cold reality check to many people: Even a night that started with fun can soon turn into a dangerous experience.

While I have nothing against the people who actively go out each weekend and decide to “shake life,” I think we all have to just as actively be aware of our surroundings. Partying, as we all know, is one of the most prominent staples of college life. It’s been endlessly portrayed in movies and TV shows and is one of the top things sought by new students.

It’s the “don’t have class on Fridays, so the weekend starts on Thursday” mentality that we pick up once we get our first real taste of independence. Heck, even hype for the “after-party” of an event sometimes surpasses hype of the actual event.

So we spend time and money getting all dolled up for whatever theme the party has, and we all go out with different intentions. Some of us want to find a booty call, others just want to have fun, and almost everyone is there to have the experience of getting down to the same song at the same time. With an unlimited supply of party and dance songs and a culture known for pushing the limits, there won’t be a slowdown on the amount of parties or the amount of people who attend parties any time soon.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

If you like to party and want to party, then do it. That said, we need to realize that no matter where we are or who we are with, things can turn serious quickly. We cannot control who comes to a party (unless it is our own), and we also cannot control how rational a person is. We can, however, control how we act.

If you sense something is wrong at a party, then that’s your cue to leave. If you see someone beginning to fight, head for the exit. Just keep in mind you are at a place with people you may or may not know, who may or may not be under the influence, and that can lead to several different things.

Partying should always be fun, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous.