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Keep Calm and Fest On: 7 Tips For A Safe Fest Season

Being Ohio University students, most of us have a least one thing in common — our love for fest season! We look forward to the second half of our spring semester because we know every weekend will be filled with crazy parties. For the majority of students, fest season is all fun and games, until someone gets arrested.

We usually hear the upperclassmen and alumni talk about all the positives of fest season, but rarely mention the negatives. Unfortunately, police officers do tend to be associated with huge, crazy house parties. The goal of these officers is not to get students in trouble, but rather to keep Ohio University a safe place for everyone. It can be easy to stay safe and have a great time during fest season by just following these few tips given to us by Pat McGee. Pat is a Managing Attorney for the Center for Student Legal Services here at Ohio University.

Photo: The Athens News

1. Do not take an open container of alcohol on to the street or public sidewalk.Once you leave the lawn of that house party with an open container, you are now eligible to be charged with open container. If you must take your cup to the next party, you must turn your cup upside down to ensure that nothing is in the cup. But to be safe, it is suggested to leave your cup at the party.

2. Do not pee in an ally or on the side of a house.If an officer sees you doing this, you are basically asking to be arrested. If you feel that you have to go to the bathroom, do not wait until the last minute to find somewhere to go. The lines may be long, but it is better to wait in a long line than to be arrested for public urination.

3. Do not throw anything.This includes beer bottles, cups, or anything you may feel the need to throw. Officers do not appreciate it nor do they find it funny when you throw something and end up hitting them or their horses.

4. Do not argue with a cop.If an officer comes up to you, odds are they have been watching you and know you are doing something wrong. Do not try to fight with them. If you cooperate you are more likely to be let go than if you try to start a fight.

5. Never show a cop your fake ID.Although you may think your fake ID is good because “the holograms are nice” or “because it scans,” officers are not dumb. They will know it is fake and you are then eligible for more charges because you tried to lie to them.

6. Do not walk home alone.Being alone, especially while intoxicated, makes you more of a target for officers to come approach you. Just because you are alone does not mean you will automatically be arrested. But it is almost guaranteed that if an officer sees you, he or she will come talk to you, putting you in a situation that is not ideal for you while in an intoxicated state.

7. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!The number one reason people get arrested during fest season is because they don’t know their rights. Most people get very nervous when an officer approaches them and immediately confess everything they have done wrong, but you do not have to do that. This does not mean you are supposed to lie to an officer, but make sure you know the things you have to tell an officer and the things you may want to leave out.

I hope after reading this you are not intimidated, but more prepared for fest season. These fests could be your best time here at Ohio University or your worst; it is all what you make of it. Keep Calm and Fest On!

Photo: Total Frat Move

I am a freshman at Ohio University. I am majoring in Journalism News and Information.
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