Partying is not a crime but responsibility is key


File photo: Iowa State Daily

Partying with alcohol is not an inherently bad activity as long as common sense is used. Tailgaiting and sporting events offer opportunities for students to relax.

Rj Green

Oh Michael Belding, how you confound me. Why must you pontificate to and fro?

Did you feel coverage of superfan hooliganism was insufficient? Have we not printed enough pictures of folks painted head-to-toe, cardinal-and-gold to appease you?

Did we, perhaps, understate the contribution of these shenanigans to the overall awesomeness of Iowa State? Do you feel that we’re somehow deficient in school spirit?

I ask because you were quite the cranky-pants in your column.

You didn’t seem to appreciate my favorite pastime — tailgating — or any other sort of riot and debauchery for that matter. You specifically mentioned being harassed due to your lack of support for *The* Iowa State Cyclones, so I guess I missed the point?

Maybe I was supposed to take it as a celebration of school pride you’re admittedly deficient in? Or perhaps you feel our educational endeavors should supersede our collective fascination with getting a little boozy when the opportunity presents itself?

There is where I believe you are wrong.

I’m of the opinion that if you go to a bar, tailgate or party, drunk or otherwise, and you still don’t have fun, you at least tried.

If you didn’t do any of the above, and instead sat at home writing a letter to the university newspaper, that’s your fault.

Here’s where our difference of opinion is: I think football and other athletic games are exactly the sort of excuse to throw a party with copious margaritas, cheap beer and mixed drinks fashioned from whatever lies in your fridge. In fact, I’d estimate that on any given weekend during football season, a few million people agree with me as well.

Honestly, I’m getting a bit sick of these complaints where folks get on their soapbox and wag fingers at the party crowd using generalizations and hysterics. The problem lies with accountability.

If someone drinks to the point of alcohol poisoning, that’s their fault.

If someone drinks and gets behind the wheel, that’s their fault.

If someone uses their drunken state as an excuse for their actions, those were still their actions.

If someone takes non-consensual liberties with a woman on account of her intoxicated state, well, that’s a sore subject. I think the statistic is something like one in five girls before the age of 20. As far as the offender is concerned, the only words I’m able to produce aren’t even close to appropriate for a newspaper column.

As for the ladies, all I can say is this: It’s disgusting that sexual assault should be a concern of yours, but it shouldn’t be an afterthought. Most college guys aren’t out on the weekends looking to eat ice cream and watch six hours of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Keep an eye on your drink, stick with the people you know, and don’t hesitate to defend yourself. You know exactly where to aim.

Make friends. Go to sporting events. Go to class. Party your face off. Enjoy your adventure. If drinking is part of that equation, be responsible. But, don’t sit at home and write angry letters to the Daily disguised as school spirit, that’s just silly.

As for you, Mr. Belding, this is your invitation to come to an athletic event, tailgate or party, as long as you promise not to be a sourpuss.

And hook me up with a Bayside Tigers shirt.