EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene’s social host ordinance went into effect in April in an effort to limit unruly parties near University of Oregon.
Since then, the way of hosting parties has changed. Students at the U of O know that out-of-control partying is going to cost them anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. So students are working to avoid those hefty fines by partying smarter.
The threat of thousand-dollar fines has college kids keeping a closer eye on their parties.
“We’re not going to have any less parties because of the social ordinance, but we are going to be more precautious,” said UO student Tad Pierce.
That’s where Erik Hartmann comes in.
“I have no problem paying Erik $100 for a party if that means sparing the host of the party $700,” Pierce said.
Pierce and other UO students have started relying on Hartmann and his security staff at Oregon event enterprises because they’re cheaper than a ticket, and they know the difference between a fun party and a fineable one.
“Noise, open containers, anything that’s going to generate a complaint, and therefore a police call. So typically we’re just out on the sidewalk out front, just being aware of how that party is affecting the neighborhood,” said Erik Hartmann, OEE Security.
That surveillance has been in high demand ever since the city’s ordinance went into effect in April.
“Since the social host ordinance came in, we’ve probably had an 80-percent increase in business on campus, both with affiliated sorority and fraternity houses and independent houses,” Hartmann said.
For Pierce, it’s a no-brainer for both safer parties and tighter budgets.
“We definitely feel safer. We’ve never actually had the police come to our party when we’ve had security there, so that speaks volumes,” Pierce said.
“A lot of parties are getting in trouble, but none of the ones that are hiring us,” Hartmann said.
Eugene Police don’t have numbers on whether calls have died down near campus since April or how much help security services are doing. But if they’re all working toward the same goal, police say it seems like a step in the right direction.
“The reason why we have the social host ordinance is to keep these unruly parties from occurring. So if that’s happening, then that’s the desired outcome,” said Lt. Jennifer Bills, Eugene Police.
Even though students are about to head home for the summer, OEE anticipates this trend will continue through the fall and as long as the ordinance is in place.