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Asking for a Friend (Who Wants To Throw a Rager): How Do I Make it a Good Party?

Sounds like someone's excited to host, but maybe not sure how to execute. No worries, I got you! To start, Project X vibes are out of the question – it is a movie for a reason. Now that we have set more realistic standards we can get into the good details.

The key to a successful party is you want everyone to have fun, which means you need everyone to be safe. Some of you might be thinking “that is so not true,” but when we say safety we do not mean to stop the drinking all together... because fair enough; those things can be fun. What we mean is that to do any of those things you must be physically and mentally able to do them as well as actually want to participate. The last thing you want is to make people feel pressured, have someone hurt themself because they are on a roof, or get fined.

Safety when it comes to hosting a successful partying requires planning – a plan to keep your guests, friends, and fellow peers from breaking their legs and blacking out. So how might we do this?

Let’s start a few days out from the party, you and your housemates are thinking of hosting, maybe it’s the first time, maybe it’s the fifth this semester, either way a conversation must be had.

Some things that are crucial to discuss:
  1. What are the house rules? Make sure EVERYONE is comfortable with hosting, the amount of people coming, and where people are allowed to go. A house (for most people) is a common shared space and must be equally respected by all. Period.

  2. Create a guest list – that everyone must agree upon.

  3. Who is going to be the designated sober host? The most effective way to respond to an emergency is to have someone who can. When people are intoxicated it decreases reaction time, therefore having someone sober is ideal.

  4. Let your neighbors know you are hosting and swap contacts with the designated sober host. The last thing you want is your neighbors getting upset and calling the cops at 11:04pm. It is way better if they call the sober host and let them know the issue and the sober host can help resolve it.

  5. Look into the University District Safety Initiative to ensure you are complient with all guidelines.

Day of the party (yay!!):
  1. Shut your doors and block off private places – respect the house rules!

  2. Put up signs with house rules for your guests, like “do not enter." Some of your guests might need the extra nudge.

  3. Put out some yummy food and non-alcoholic beverages. This will allow for people to eat while they drink and alternate between alcoholic beverages, ultimately helping people not black out, yay! The non-alcoholic drinks will also help those who choose not to drink and encourages pacing throughout the night. Also, be nice to your sober host and give them some goodies.

  4. Have one entrance to the party (e.g., front door only): this allows you to better monitor who is coming and going from the party.

Now that some things have been agreed upon, you have taken some time to prepare and plan, it's party time (WOOT WOOT!!):
  1. Be an “upstander” if you are concerned about someone. Example: you see someone looking very uncomfortable, go over and ask them how they are doing and if they need anything. Another example being someone who is very intoxicated and embarrassing themselves; go offer them a water or non-alcoholic beverage and see if they have a friend around who can look out for them.

  2. Keep the party people and drinking inside to help control the noise. Odds are the party will go on longer, too!

  3. Watch your guests for signs of alcohol poisoning and call 911 if you are concerned about someone. Pro tip: if someone has had just a little too much to drink and you don't have capacity to watch them, bring them to COR where trained students and staff can watch them overnight.

  4. Call 911 if the party gets out of control or you are frightened and/or uncomfortable. It is ok to shut down your own party there is absolutely no shame here! Parties are unpredictable, and small shindig can turn into a rager quickly, which can be scary, especially if you are unprepared. It is always best to do only what you are comfortable with.

  5. Make sure your guests get home safely – you are liable. When a party is very large it is hard to be aware of everyone. Most people that live off campus can walk home, but if you notice anyone with car keys, make sure you check that they have not been drinking! If they have, do not let them drive home – call them a taxi or Uber, send them with a friend, or they can bus or walk back home.

And the event has come to an end... that means clean up time.
  1. Check outside to make sure that nothing has spilled into your neighbour's yard. If it has, then clean it ASAP.

  2. Check in with your neighbour's for feedback on the party, especially if you want to host again. If they are mad about something and you do nothing, there is a greater chance of them calling the cops the next time you host.

  3. Now get some rest! Hosting is a lot – it can be stressful, cause a lot of anxiety, and in general is a lot of work. Take some time to chill and recharge.

For more hosting tips & detailed information on bylaw & other Queen's policies, check out the responsible hosting website.

From one Queens student to another, I wish you a successful, safe, and fun party!


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