TCU attempts to change weekend party culture

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    If alcohol violations are any indication, TCU’s reputation as a party school continues to rise.

    On campus alcohol violations rose 31 percent between 2011 and 2013, according to TCU police’s annual report released Wednesday. Alcohol violations in housing facilities rose 22 percent during the same time period.

    TCU administrators are trying to recast the campus image.

    In 2012, Playboy Magazine recognized TCU as the ninth best “party school” in the nation. Some students will start the weekend on Thursday and continue through Sunday if they don’t have classes on Monday.

    Fraternity and Sorority Life has been given new guidelines for off-campus events. Students returned to campus this fall to find a revised alcohol policy that now limits them to a total of three alcohol violations during their time at TCU.

    But administration is not the only group at TCU attempting to curb excessive drinking.

    A program known as theEnd shows movies and brings in popular acts, including comedians and singers. The activities are free, though students typically have to reserve a ticket.

    It is an opportunity to help students be responsible, make good choices and have a good time seeing acts and entertainment in a safe environment, Brad Thompson, assistant director of student activities, said.

    “I believe that events like this can shape the culture and that’s what we are trying to do,” he said. “I think that we finally have made a significant move towards making a difference in that here through this kind of programming.”

    Chancellor Victor Boschini said any time TCU can provide opportunities on campus for students to gather for a variety of events, both social and educational, he’s in favor of it.

    “It seems like there was a need for this because everything they’ve had so far, as far as I know, has been basically sell out crowd,” Boschini said. “I just think it’s great to have events on campus. I love when they are on the Campus Commons or anywhere near the campus commons because you have a built in audience.”

    Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull said students are enjoying having these events.

    “We’ve already gotten some emails from students that say, ‘Thank you for doing this, I’m glad that we have something like this on our campus,’ ” Cavins-Tull said. 

    “We think we have something that is really great and really cutting edge. I think that TCU is in a great place right now with this and I hope that the students feel like this is a programming that is working for them.”

    Cavins-Tull said the division of student affairs talked about what they could do in order to have some sort of effect on the student population.

    “We asked Brad [Thompson, Assistant Director of Student Activities] what would you need to do in order to build a program that would be exciting for students and something that students would actually want to participate in,” Cavins-Tull said. “[Thompson] said it’s got to be live and it’s got to be very contemporary.”

    Cavins-Tull said $220,000 was budgeted for fall programming.

    “I think it’s worth every dime that we are putting into it,” Cavins-Tull added. “We will go back to the funding source the second semester and ask for the same amount of money, so we can do really exciting programming in the spring as well.”

    She said attendance, what students are doing while they are at the events and community interaction at the events are the factors they will look at to see if TCU will keep the program.

    “What we want is 1) students to come, 2) we want them to connect with each other and build some new relationships there,” Cavins-Tull said.

    First-year political science major Chris Sandoval is excited to see BJ Novak on Oct. 18 and Fred Armisen on Nov. 7.

    “I give them a lot of credit for being able to bring in people like that,” Sandoval said. 

    Senior early childhood education major Kellie Mossler, director of theEnd, said it’s a great cause and a good way for students to get to know each other.

    “It’s a great feeling knowing that, that many people want to come to the events that you are planning,” Mossler said. “A lot of effort went into planning them and so I’m really glad the students are enjoying them and that our hard work is paying off.”

    Junior supply chain management and marketing major Chad Hamman said he thinks theEnd is a good program, but has not eliminated partying entirely, despite the stricter alcohol policies.

    “I was pretty excited to hear that Mat Kearney was coming,” Hamman said. 

    “I think it definitely gives students an alternative to going out and drinking, but I’ve also heard of people pre-gaming those events, and going under the influence of alcohol anyways,” he said. 

    “I think if people want to drink, they’re going to do it.”

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