Hosting a Party in a Bellingham Neighborhood
You’ve set up your new place and are ready to invite people over. Whatever the size of your gathering, there are a few things you can do to make it enjoyable for you and those around you. The most important thing you can and should do is talk to your neighbors ahead of time. They may be more tolerant if you don’t surprise them. A few days in advance, let them know what you’re planning in terms of size and hours. Let them know who they can contact if they have any problems. Most likely you’ll have a great party, but you should be prepared to address the “what-if’s.”
Here are a few prevention tips:
Prevent Your Party from Getting Busted:
Keep the party to a smaller size with less than 30 people.
Make sure your guests are considerate of your neighbors and don’t do things like park cars on lawns or vandalize property.
Keep the party indoors to cut down on clean-up time and to reduce the amount of noise generated. Shut the windows and walk outside from time to time to check the noise level.
DO NOT charge any kind of fees to party guests.
DO NOT serve alcohol to minors.
If your neighbors call or stop by to tell you the party’s too loud, cooperate with them. Otherwise, they may end up calling the police.
Cooperate with the police if they show up. Have a calm, sober person speak with them. If they ask you to break up the party, do it. It’s okay to call the cops yourself if the party gets out of hand.
If a guest has had too much to drink, don’t let them drive. Call a taxi or Sober Rovers, arrange for a ride with another guest who is sober, or invite them to stay over.
- Bellingham Yellow Cab: 738-8294
- Checker Cab Northwest 398-8294
- City Cab 733-8294
- Evergreen Taxi 714-0502
- Scott’s Taxi 733-8900
- Superior Cab 714-8294
- Yellow Cab 734-8294
- Sober Rovers will arrive at a home or bar on a scooter that folds and fits inside the trunk of your car: 734-9111.
>> Party Patrol 101
Prevent Your Stuff from Getting Stolen:
Monitor who enters the party. Don't let in people that no one knows. A guest list makes this easier. Having an "everyone is welcome" party is the quickest way to get your stuff stolen.
Hide or protect valuables and lock areas that you don’t want people to enter.
Keep the party in a central location of the house.
Avoid letting people get over-intoxicated. Check out Alcohol Poisoning and Drug Overdose 101.
Keep an inventory of your stuff and check it after the party.
Call the police and report any missing items.
Pay attention to people who leave early, or people who come with backpacks.
Have at least one person remain sober to keep an eye on the place and the people at the party.
Prevent Someone Getting Seriously Hurt or Ill at Your Party:
Watch for emerging fights and drunken guests, especially as people consume more alcohol. You can intervene before someone gets hurt.
Offer soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water, and coffee so that guests have alternatives to alcohol.
Discourage rapid drinking or drinking games.
Provide plenty of appetizers, snacks, and other food. NOTE: Food only changes the pace that alcohol enters your system—it has no effect on the pace that alcohol leaves your system. Coffee, cold showers, aspirin, etc. – will not sober you up; only time will do that.
Use cups that make no distinction between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, so that people who aren’t drinking alcohol don’t feel self-conscious.
Request identification from anyone who appears 30 years of age or younger. Guests who cannot present a valid form of ID should not be given any alcohol.
Model appropriate behavior for your guests and be sure to communicate that becoming intoxicated is not the goal of the party.
Make sure that anyone who is visibly intoxicated does not receive any more alcohol and is not left alone. Even if the guest is not driving, an impaired guest can be injured or harm others.
Have a plan to deal with any guest who drinks too much. Before the party, ask someone reliable to help you keep things under control.
When necessary, provide alternate transportation for impaired guests. Either call a cab, Sober Rovers, or enlist the help of sober friends to take the impaired guest home. Call 911 and request paramedic response if there are any concerns about someone’s safety when they are intoxicated.
>> Alcohol Poisoning and Drug Overdose 101
Prevent Someone Getting Sexually Assaulted or Raped at Your Party:
Limit access to areas out of view where guests could have sexual encounters.
Look out for guests who are over-consuming and who is “hitting on them.”
Let your friends know that it is not okay for them to take advantage of someone sexually at your party.
Keep an eye out for people who may be more vulnerable to sexual assault. This includes people attending the party alone or people who appear to be intoxicated.
When you see someone being forced or manipulated sexually, speak up and get others involved to "rescue" that guest tactfully and without conflict.
Remember: An unconscious or intoxicated person can't give consent. Without consent, it's sexual assault.
Alcohol is the number one drug associated with sexual assault.
Also, educate yourself on the use of date rape drugs, including their appearance and effects.
Western has a 24 hour sexual assault helpline at 650-3700 (CASAS: Crime and Sexual Assault Support Services).
Click here to learn more about their services.
For police or medical emergencies, call 3911 on-campus or 911 off-campus.
>> Attending a Party in a Bellingham Neighborhood