Editor’s Note: To cover this sensitive topic, I interviewed students who held parties and attended parties, but decided to leave them anonymous so they could talk openly without fear of repercussions from Student Rights and Responsibilities.
To write this article, I attended four parties and talked to Lutes about smoking, drinking, partying and hooking up at PLU. I am 21 years old and everyone who I witnessed drinking, to my knowledge, was of age.
For this article, I will retell stories from parties in first-person narrative as they were told to me from several people from each party. Hope you enjoy.
We’re standing in the middle of a house we don’t know, with people we just met for the first time. There’s a girl in the corner who’s bumpin’ and grindin’ alone while 20 guys gather around a table waiting for their turn at beer pong. In the kitchen, first-years are stealing booze and a group just snuck outside to smoke.
Next thing I know, the cops are here and we all squeeze out the back door dropping backpacks full of beer and weed as we go.
We end up here every Friday and Saturday night. How do we get here and how does this all get started?
To start from the beginning, I talked to Jack*, a constant party-goer and party-thrower, I knew he’d have all the answers.
It all starts with a text. Jack lives in a house off-campus and his roommate is a member of an elite texting group mostly comprised of athletes who live off-campus. Each Friday, someone texts the group to see what’s going on that weekend. If nobody has anything going on, Jack said his house picks up the slack and agrees to throw a party.
From there, strings of texts go out to friends about the time and location of that night’s party. Sometimes party invites are sent through Facebook, but usually those parties have closed guest lists.
“We usually send out the invite around six or seven that night,” Jack said. “People don’t start showing up until about 11 anyways.”
This weekend, the first party was at Derek* and Luke’s* house.
“We usually pregame before,” said Derek. “We’ll just chill here, play a couple games and drink a few beers. Then people start showing up.”
Luke and Derek put away their TV, their expensive alcohol and anything that could be use as a weapon around their house before the party starts. For them, the weapon removal is important because part of their house decorations include boxing gloves and nunchucks. Avoiding shit-faced students boxing is a must.
We cracked open some beers, took some shots and got dressed for a night out.
Three beers in. Let the party begin.
As people start to roll in, the games come out. Beer pong is a classic because it can be constantly played as people show up and move around the house. At smaller parties, King’s Cup, Baseball and Rage Cage are also popular because those games, in particular, are hard in huge groups.
“We play a lot of games and try to just have a good time,” Luke said. “It’s different. I feel like as freshmen we just wanted to get as drunk as possible.”
A group of girls show up drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade, but other than them, most of the party drinks Coors and Rainier. Don’t think I’m not judging that Mike’s. I might not say it, and nobody else is, but we’re judging you.
We aren’t even an hour into the party and I’m being escorted into the back where the housemates are taking Jäger Bombs, which are shots of Jägermeister dunked in Red Bull. Two shots later, we’re back in the living room and there’s a group standing around one man, who’s about to freestyle rap his way through a hat of words.
While we were in the back getting drunk, a hat, paper and pens were passed around the room and guests wrote down words or phrases on the paper and put them into the hat. Then, they were given to the performer and he rapped and joked his way through the entire list. Don’t worry, we caught it all on video and you can find it at mastmedia.plu.edu.
Five beers, three shots. Let’s talk about people finding the party.
When you throw a party at Pacific Lutheran University, there’s always the chance you’ll get unwanted visitors. Because we’re close to campus and everyone knows that parties thrive on Friday nights, some students roam the streets until they hear music or see other groups of people on their way out.
Those “party creepers,” as I refer to them, are the plague of off-campus partying. Everyone who I talked to said unwanted visitors are the scariest thing when it comes to a house party. You never know who they are, who they’ll invite or what they’ll steal.
“Sometimes we have our big roommate stand at the door and let him decide who gets to come in,” Jack said. “And when it gets out of control, we send him through the party to kick out whoever he doesn’t want in there.”
That night, a group of unwanted party creepers made off with a bottle of Jack Daniels and broke the pong table before making a speedy exit while nobody was looking.
During another night out, I decided to take the party creeper role and followed a friend to a house party that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. They’re diseases at parties, but I’ll admit, being a party creeper is pretty fun. You go in, maybe take a beer or score some free weed and then enjoy the party. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find some friends there and snag a spot on the pong table. My night as a party creeper wasn’t looking too shabby.
Seven beers, four shots. And the night begins to fade..
After that fourth shot, I didn’t know if I could do any more. When the last one feels like it’s going to come right back up your throat, it’s time to slow down. At this point, there are about 60 people in the house and 10 out back smoking.
We’re halfway through a game of King’s Cup and a drunk girl shows up, grabs the King’s Cup (currently full of wine, Mike’s Hard, Coors and a margarita) and chugs it. Game over. Girl: 1 Group: 0.
My next stop is the dance floor. About four shots in, the dance floor starts to look like your best friend (I learned, after watching my GoPro footage the next morning, the dance floor was not my best friend.)
“PLU parties can be kind of lame because it’s like a lot of people standing around,” Jack said. “Not a lot of houses have good dance floors. But bigger schools, like UW, they dance way more and that makes a party just better.”
But before long, everyone is screaming and it’s time to go out back: there’s a beer bong contest. A beer bong contest happens when two people funnel beer through a tube and see who can chug it faster. Opening your throat and taking in beer as quick as possible is like a pissing contest for PLU men. When I asked them why, they had no answer. Just that it was hard and just “something we do to see who’s better.”
Finally, it’s my turn on the beer pong table. What’s the first cup I hit? Bitch cup. The cup in the exact middle of the table is bitch cup. At some houses, if you hit bitch cup first you have to chug a beer, at others you have to shotgun a beer but at this house, you had to pull your pants down and play until you made another cup.
For the boys? No big deal. For girls like me who decided to wear leggings; and therefore a thong, to the party? Big deal. I manned up, pulled my pants down, pulled my shirt down to cover as much as I could and played through. It only took two more turns to make a cup, but the damage was done: I was mortified.
Chugging water… The night winds down.
The end of the night is usually marked by everyone going outside to either smoke a cigar, smoke weed or walk to Denny’s.
Some nights end because the cops come, some nights end because someone puked and some end because a girl (or boy) has begun crying for no apparent reason.
Our night ended for three reasons:
1. One of the hosts was blackout drunk and nobody could find or understand him,
2. Some guests got too high and stopped being able to function and
3. A group of party creepers came in, took a bottle of Jack, broke a ping pong table and hauled ass out, breaking the spirit of the party.
At a lot of schools, and for some Lutes, hooking up at the end of the night is a goal. However, from what I saw, it happens a lot less at PLU.
“It’s really hard because everyone knows everyone,” said Derek. “Like you have to see them all the time on campus and that’s just awkward.”
With nobody getting lucky that night, half of the party passed out on beds, couches and during their walk home. The other half went to Taco Bell and got some cheesy shit to stuff in their faces before passing out.
“Yeah, I woke up with pizza all over my room, had my clothes and shoes on, didn’t know where I was and my head was on the wrong end of the bed,” Luke said. “I was like, ‘How did I even get like this?’”
“So you had a rough night?” I said.
“Yeah, at some point I guess someone just found me in the closet,” he said. “Just sitting in there in my underwear with the door closed.”