Where’s the party tonight?

Better be a dorm party


Collegian File Photo

By Max Schwartz, Collegian Contributor

It’s Friday night, you’re still tired from last night and your friends suggest going to the frats again — the same frats you’ve been going to for the last four weekends.

The more you go to these frats on campus, the more you wish you’d just stayed in. There is an alternative, but it’s so lame compared to the frats, right?


This Friday night, your dorm is the place to be. Sure, your room can’t hold more than 10 people, the music won’t shake the room and there aren’t crowds of people waiting to get in, but there are several attributes to dorm parties that trounce your ordinary frat party.

First and foremost, dorm parties are safer. They are held in dorms which have access to Resident Assistants on duty, bathrooms and other students. Dorm parties foster an environment that favors comfort and accommodation over rowdiness. There’s not as much pressure to wear outfits that oversexualize because, unlike frats, there is no gatekeeper at a dorm party. Either you’re invited to come in or you’re not. Occasionally, frat culture has been seen to promote sexist values like the infamous “ratio” that determines whether you’ll get into the party based on how many men to women are in your group. On the other hand, dorm parties are big enough to meet someone new, yet intimate enough that you can get to know the partygoers.

Dorm parties, at their heart, are more inclusive. You can bond with your floor. While frats do offer partygoers a place to meet new people, people in frats are becoming more demographically similar. Typically, at dorm parties, you’ll encounter people who’re interested in more than just strobe lights. You also won’t be given better treatment for the less you wear, and when you request a song, there’s a high chance it’ll be played. Overall, it’s just a more relaxed environment.

In some cases, dorm parties may feel exclusive, say, if the door is closed and no one is leaving or entering. But in most cases, people will be walking in and out of the room, giving you a chance to say hi and make new friends. The people throwing parties on your floor will likely be there the entire year, so the sooner you get to know them, the better.

When you hear your friends say, “We’re going to (some assortment of Greek letters),” you know what’s in store for the night: pre-gaming a little too hard in your friend’s room, walking a mile in the cold to a sweaty frat basement and waking up 12 hours later sore and full of regrets.

On the contrary, no dorm party is ever the same. Dorm party is a funny phrase because it’s so variable; it could mean a night of card games and talking with friends, or it could mean everyone wears comfy clothing and watches a crappy rom-com. It’s nice to take a break from the large crowds and yelling over one another for a small group. The beauty in dorm parties is the variability in what the night might bring.

It’s up to you what you want to do with your night. You can go out to the frats, you can stay in and throw a little dorm party or you can simply hit the hay. No shame. But if you decide you want to spice up your night, opt for an intimate party in your room over the same frat you know so well. As I mentioned above, dorm parties are typically safer, more inclusive and variable. So, while you could have a crappy time and rule out dorm parties, you may also have the time of your life and decide frats just aren’t the move anymore.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best. If you think a frat is where you want to spend your night, then go to a frat. But if you decide you want to switch things up and host a dorm party, go for it. If it doesn’t go your way, at least you won’t have a long walk home.

Max Schwartz is a Collegian contributor and can be reached at [email protected]