In the wake of a calamitous, unregistered hotel party attended by members of the Pakistani Students Association, the responsibilities of multicultural and other non-Greek-letter groups in holding off-campus events needs re-examination.
The event highlighted the necessity that these groups follow GW’s policy – that all student organizations must register both on- and off-campus events where alcohol will be served.
The details of the party – which was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel following a cultural show called Pakfest 2000 and attended by some 80 members of the GW community – tell a story of mayhem and intrigue. Students who attended the party reported wild altercations of near riot proportions, while at least $1,000 ended up missing during the confusion.
Surely, if the event had been registered with GW, the possibility of such unruly behavior would have been minimized. The mere threat of repercussions for violating University rules would act as a deterrent to such behavior. Campus organizations would reconsider before endorsing events, ensuring that parties are in compliance with GW policy.
Moreover, punishment for non-registered events should be quick and unequivocal. But in order to reach that point, University policy must be clarified so that student groups thoroughly understand the rules and the sanctions handed down for infractions of those rules.
Perhaps lost in the details is the seriousness of the problem. The wild party at the Embassy Suites Hotel could have resulted in serious injury or worse.
For the sake of student groups and the University, GW’s policy toward student group events must be uniformly respected by all campus organizations and uniformly enforced.