Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Like a Pro: Drunken Etiquette

Over Easter my parents seemed concerned that all my articles deal with alcohol. (They read my newspaper work, but not the blog - as far as I know.) I said that not every article deals with alcohol and my dad replied, "well, at least every other one does." Well, too late I had already started writing this... I made the point that my alcohol columns tend to be for "entertainment and humor" and they get me in the least amount of trouble (cough dining...) so without any further adieu I present "Drunken Etiquette."

During my time at UNH, I have noticed that a lot of people complain about the campus police. I know I have spoken out against their tactics before, but on the other hand they are just doing their job. Weekends at UNH can be a blast, but sometimes wearing handcuffs after a party is a bad thing. Personally, I have never been arrested, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, or any other night of week for that matter. This is UNH, who am I kidding? Take a stroll around campus on a nice weekend night and you are practically guaranteed to witness an arrest or two, or 10.

Many times these students are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and there is nothing they can do about it. Except not drinking in the first place, but we all know that is not going to happen. However, there are times when students call attention to themselves and basically ask to get arrested. Bad ideas when you are intoxicated on campus include, but are not limited to: running, climbing buildings, urinating on or behind a car – especially a cop car – yelling, stumbling, driving, fighting, streaking, sitting and crying in the street, crawling and getting stuck in a swamp.

Calling attention to yourself is the easiest way to get arrested, even if you have not been drinking. One of my favorite stories was from last semester when a student was arrested for throwing an open beer can at the windshield of a police car as it drove by. When it comes to bad ideas that is probably the most ridiculously stupid thing an intoxicated student can do. You want to avoid those “Yeah, I remember my first beer” moments. If you are not able to control yourself after a few drinks, then don’t drink because that is when people get arrested, or even worse, injured. It is the students who cannot control themselves who give others just looking to have a good time a bad name.

One major tip to avoid an arrest is to be aware of your surroundings. The university police know that students leaving a party are bound to be hungry, so places like D-Hop and Wildcatessen are always under close surveillance late at night. If you act belligerent, don’t be surprised when a cop comes strolling through the door with a pair of handcuffs. If someone tells you about a safe path or spot in the woods to drink, it’s not safe. If they know about it so does most of the campus, which means the campus police knows about it too.

Having a proper drunken etiquette goes beyond just avoiding an arrest. It also includes having some decent manners at a party. For example, if you are ready to turn it up to 11, make sure other people are too because you don’t want to be the only one dancing on top of the furniture. If the person hosting a party asks you to quiet down then do it because being loud is an open invitation for the cops or RAs to shut a party down. In the same boat, but more importantly, if the host asks you to leave, whether the party is over or you are just being too rowdy then you need to respect the host’s rules.

The final stage of drunken etiquette is the ability to deal with roommates, whether they are the belligerent drunks or you are. I have had awesome roommates, meaning when they urinate in the room, most of it makes it into a bottle. Being able to control a roommate-gone-wild is a very important skill, especially if you’re living in a dorm. Sometimes that means cleaning up someone else’s vomit, just make sure your roommate knows they owe you one. Big time. On the flipside, you don’t want to be the crappy roommate who needs to be babysat every weekend. If that continues, you’re going to find yourself living in a single at Stoke, and then you’ll be in real trouble the next time you decide “Jager Bombs” and Heinekens are the perfect 3 p.m. thirst quencher.

The campus police, RAs and CAs have a strict policy to stick by, so if you can’t control yourself after a few drinks, don’t be surprised when you find yourself in the back of a paddy wagon. Every weekend there are dozens of arrests on campus for alcohol-related offenses, but there are far more than a dozen people who decide to drink.

Stay classy, not UMassy.


  1. well said, 95% of the times if you managed to get arrested by the unh or durham cops you were bringing it upon yourself, with the other 5% of the times being when unh cops hide behind bushes, but otherwise to get arrested you've got to be attracting attention to yourself

  2. that kid from new yorkApril 6, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Don't worry about what your parents said, you are doing a service to me and kids my age who can learn from your tips and might even keep us out of the drunk tank someday. If i don't forget them the very first time i get nice and toasted in college that is.