Ohio University: Party School.
You’re not the first one to make the association. And one of the key reasons for the reputation? Fests!
To make fests safer, however, a group of students are petitioning the city to close city streets.
Fests are block parties that take place on designated streets during the spring semester. In the past, partiers have been restricted to private residences, meaning that if they stepped onto the sidewalk or street with alcohol in hand, they risked arrest. Because party hopping from house to house is common, many arrests have been made during past fest seasons as intoxicated students don’t consider the consequences. Last year, 52 arrests were made during Mill Fest alone, according to The Post.
A petition made by members of the Athens and Ohio University communities on Change.org claims blocking off Palmer and South High Streets between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the day of the fests would make a safer environment for pedestrians and drivers, limit overcrowding of dangerous areas such as balconies, porches, and edges of yards, allow for easier EMS access and facilitate a better relationship between civilians and police.
Those who signed the online petition left comments as to why they believe closing the streets for fests would be a good idea.
Some who commented said they believed closing off the streets would make the fests safer.
Others were more focused on the heightened party atmosphere.
Athens Unearthed also took to Twitter to gauge readers’ opinions.
Some agreed with the petitioners:
Others disagreed and thought that closing the streets would do more harm than good:
The petition currently has 1,474 signatures out of a goal of 1,500. According to The Post, members of the Athens City Council are already discussing whether or not the streets should be closed. The students who created the petition will be presenting it to the council in the near future.
Do you think that Palmer and South High Streets should be closed during fests? Let us know what you think at @ATNUnearthed or comment below.