An Open Letter to LOUD Drunk Students

Dear students,

Sometimes you consume one or many alcoholic beverages and then you have some fun. It’s a Friday night, so you’re probably going to drink tonight. In fact, I know you’re drinking. Right now! How do I know? Because I can hear you from a block away. That screaming you’re doing? Even though it’s the dead of winter and all our doors and windows are shut, we can still hear you.

Being drunk can be fun, and if you’re responsible about it, a little alcohol can make an awkward social situation more relaxed. But while you’re drinking, try to be considerate of others. Being drunk is not an excuse to be disrespectful to other people. You shouldn’t hold your need to have a good time above other’s need for sleep. It’s possible to enjoy yourself without disturbing others, so try not yelling. You might be surprised. It’s actually possible to have fun without it!

And, just so I don’t sound like a nagging old fart, your screaming late at night poses a whole other, more serious problem. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and the more often I hear drunk people yelling randomly late at night, the more I’m convinced it’s true. We don’t live in the safest neighbourhood. Student ghettos aren’t known for being super classy, and when you live this close to the downtown, there are bound to be sketchy characters about. I know, I was solicited by one a while back (when you think he’s going to ask for money and he asks for sex instead *shudder*). So while you’re busy making sure everyone knows that you are fully liquored and having a good time, try to move past that fuzzy nice feeling you’re having and consider the graver consequences of what you’re doing.

Have you ever heard of the boy who cried wolf? He lied about a wolf attacking him so many times that eventually people stopped believing him, and when a real wolf came around, no one answered his cries for help (and he got eaten, in the traditional-before-Disney fairy tale style). When I used to hear screaming on the street late at night, I wondered if someone was being attacked. I’d rush to my window, peer outside, and try to assess if I should call the police. But over the past few years, living in the student ghetto, the sheer number of screaming drunk people have diminished my concern. Now,whenever I hear yelling late at night, rather than rushing to a window, I shake my head and share a knowing smile with the other people in the room: “Oh, those crazy drunk people!”. When I actually stop and consider it, this is actually pretty alarming. If I was to be attacked late at night, and I was calling for help, the last thing I would want is for the people who hear me to shrug off my cries as some frivolous students. I’d want people rushing to their windows and calling the police, and I’m sure you would too!

Of course, it might be a little unfair of me to blame all this noise on drunk people. Possibly, some of the yelling is coming from sober people who just don’t care about what others think. But because drinking lowers our inhibitions, loosens us up, and clouds our thinking and judgement, I’m inclined to feel that drunk people are more likely than sober people to scream. That being said, it shouldn’t matter whether you’re stone cold sober or completely wasted: the facts remain. Yelling at night is inconsiderate, and disruptive to people who don’t deserve to have you bothering them. More importantly, screaming is a form of crying wolf, and could have important negative consequences for someone genuinely being assaulted. And finally, itis possible to have fun without screaming your head off. Nobody is preventing you from having a good time. We’re just asking you to have a good time quietly.

So don’t drink and yell.

This message brought to you by a concerned (and slightly grouchy) Anna.