The University used to warrant the label of "The Party School of the Ivies." But, thanks to Liquor Control Enforcement officers, times are changing. Students of all ages who used to frequent campus bars and crowd into hot, sweaty, fraternity parties are having to reassess what they do for fun . . . or at least look over their shoulders if they are going to drink underage. LCE officers warned this week they would continue to crack down on underage drinkers -- in bars, at fraternities or "anywhere where underage people are drinking." And students said yesterday they are concerned that the LCE's threats will permanently alter the state of social activities at the University. "Penn is like the perfect Ivy -- it has the perfect balance of a good education and a good time," said a College freshman who asked not to be identified. "The LCE is really threatening that." "I definitely don't think it's going to be the same socially as it has been in the past," said Interfraternity Council President Jeffrey Blount. "Obviously, with the threat of the LCE, [fraternities] can't afford to have as many open parties." While fraternity brothers and their close friends will still have a social outlet, the Wharton senior said, Greek social activities will not be as accessible to most non-Greek students. "Just because the fraternities aren't having large parties doesn't mean we're not having any social activities for our members," Blount added. But, "we have to be more concerned with our own safety now. Though we would love to have open parties every weekend, unfortunately the current situation does not allow us to do that." Engineering senior Michael Lee, a member of the non-IFC fraternity Alpha Phi Delta, said that while his fraternity will continue throwing parties, the possibility of an appearance by the LCE is always considered during the party's planning stages. "I think anyone who's not 21 worries about [the LCE] when they go into a bar . . . and every fraternity is going to worry about it if they serve drinks," Lee said. "I don't think we'll have fewer parties but [the LCE is] definitely something we think about everytime we throw one." LCE officers argue that they are just doing their job by raiding bars and parties in search of underage drinkers who may have slipped through the door and are sipping on an alcoholic beverage. But while many students acknowledge that underage drinking is against the law, they are perplexed as to why the state police have decided to crack down now since underage students have been drinking for years. "This is a college campus. It's going to happen," said College sophomore Kelly Jarvis. "They can stop people from going to bars but they can't stop people from drinking." "I don't think they should be cracking down so hard," said College junior Shane Sorg, who is 21. "It's college. Everybody wants to go out and drink. You need a few bars that are going to let [underage] people in." And some students said they think the state police should worry about other things besides underage drinking. "People are getting shot and stabbed two blocks away and they're worried about drunk people stumbling home," Jarvis said. "It would be different if they had to worry about people driving." "It's absolutely ridiculous that [the LCE has] nothing better to do than raid campus bars at a university where they know three-quarters of the people are under 21," said Wharton senior Jodi Lynne Bayrd, who added that one reason she chose to attend the University was its reputation as "the social Ivy." But whether or not the LCE achieves its goal of halting underage drinking -- and many students said they doubt underage drinking will ever stop -- they have succeeded in putting fear into the hearts of many University students. "I think it's definitely getting scary," said College junior Andrea Chen. "It would definitely make me think twice about going to a bar with a fake ID. [But] people aren't going to stop drinking because of it, they're just going to be more careful about where they go." "It definitely won't stop me from going out but I'll definitely have to think twice," the unidentified College freshman added. "I'll constantly have to look over my shoulder." Blount predicts that the LCE's latest crackdown is just the beginning of a "snowball picking up steam." "I hoped that it would not be like this while I was in school here," the IFC President said. "[But] give it four more years -- it's going to be that much more strict."Comments powered by Disqus
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