Goodbye, harsh winter winds and freezing Chicago air! Hello, lovely spring breeze and warm Chicago sun! Now that the weather has finally taken a turn for the better, it’s time to enjoy the outdoors and start throwing some darties, amiright? For those of us unfamiliar with the term, a “darty” is a party thrown in the daytime. It’s an increasingly common trend that makes the most of the nice weather, but before you get too carried away, here are 5+ things to remember when throwing a safe darty.
1) Be a good neighbor!
When you’re throwing a party, what are the first two things that neighbors notice? Answer: loud music and littering. Both these things attract negative attention. When blasting your music, the bass is the most audible, so it doesn’t matter if you’re playing the current Top 20’s hit or a screamo rock song: it just sounds loud and annoying. Plus, no one likes seeing red solo cups strewn all over lawns and sidewalks, and it’s the most visible mark of being an inconsiderate neighbor. Both loud music and littering attract a lot of attention, so keep the music at a minimum and remind your guests to pick up after themselves. If you’re hosting, it might be a good idea to provide plenty of trash cans and recycling bins.
2) No open containers of alcohol on public property
As members of the Evanston community, Northwestern students have the same rights, but also the same responsibilities as other residents. That includes making the mistake of having open containers of alcohol while on public property. So what actually constitutes as public property? Most people think of open ways, such as city streets, sidewalks, alleys, and parkways, the strips of lawn in front of most yards. For instance, the sidewalk alongside Sheridan Road from the Arch is public property, but the sidewalk leading into campus under the Arch is the University’s private property (university alcohol policy prevents alcohol containers as well). If people report someone with open containers of alcohol in these public spaces and it looks like they’re coming from your house, the police can go directly to your house to make sure no laws are being violated.
3) Avoid violating the policies in Northwestern’s Student Code of Conduct.
Usually the University doesn’t get involved in off-campus parties of any kind unless they hear reports of students receiving complaints or citations. A citation is whenever the Evanston Police Department or the Northwestern University Police Department write tickets, thus ending up on student’s records. This should be a no-brainer, but there should be no underaged drinking at any darties as it is not only against University policy, but state law. Having underage drinkers on your property could lead to some serious consequences, so you should...
4) Know and follow the law
It’s not enough to know and follow only University and Evanston laws. As of 2013, Illinois has enacted the Social Host Law, meaning that individuals can be arrested and face criminal charges for allowing or permitting individuals under 21 to drink alcohol on their property. This law expects darty hosts to monitor their own parties and remove potential instances of minors drinking. Otherwise, hosts could end up charged with up to a Class 4 felony if the violation results in great bodily harm or injury. This is only one of many laws that, if you’re unfamiliar with them, could end up coming back to bite you in the big way. You can find a summary of some of the most relevant laws here.
5) Have common sense
Darties can get out of hand, people can get excited, but that’s no excuse for making some easily avoidable mistakes. Some general rules of thumb to remember are:
Keep it to the people you know! If people start showing up at your darty who you can’t recognize even in broad daylight, it’s probably a sign that your darty is well on its way to escalating out of hand.
Don’t leave your doors unlocked. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s pretty common to forget to lock your doors in the midst of throwing an awesome darty. You’ll want to make sure no drunk people are randomly making their ways into you or your roommate’s rooms.
As always, safety comes first. As awesome it might seem to assert your superiority over other darty-goers by climbing on the roof, it probably won’t seem that way if you wake up in a hospital room.
Darties are great because you can actually see who you’re talking to, and they can be a fun way to let loose after a tough winter. Just keep in mind these tips to stay safe and legal, and darty away!