This article was originally published in The Voice on March 30, 2017.
Bloomsburg’s annual Block Party is quickly approaching and will take place on April 22. Every year, the university and the town of Bloomsburg enforce stricter rules for on-campus residents and anyone in town to try to limit the antics of Block Party. However, Block Party has been going on for about twenty years, according to BU officials. So, it does not seem likely that restrictions are going to stop the event.
This year, the university has decided to limit the overnight guests allowed per on-campus resident. According to the Bloomsburg University website, on-campus residents will only be allowed to have one guest stay with them Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening the weekend of Block Party. This is a new rule, as in the past on-campus residents have been allowed two guests per night of Block Party weekend, the usual number of guests allowed per the Office of Residence Life.
However, the two guests per resident is not typically enforced during the school year, and a BU C.A stated that last year, they were only asked to enforce the two-guest rule if the students were causing problems in the dorm halls or apartments. The same C.A also stated that since the university is taking Block Party more seriously this year with the new one guest rule, they probably will be made to enforce the rule more strictly.
It is also rumored that a third party security team will be hired to assist the C.A’s during the crazy weekend of Block Party and assist them to provide desk coverage in all on-campus residences 24/7 during Block Party weekend. It seems that the university is trying to intimidate on-campus residents by enforcing such strict rules for the weekend. On any given night, BU students living on-campus typically do not need to worry about overnight guests and strict security in their fall and spring “homes.”
Limiting on-campus residents to one guest is not going to minimize Block Party. Students have probably made other arrangements for their friends from high school, other universities, etc. to stay with an off-campus friend, a hotel or with another on-campus resident who won’t have visitors that weekend. Block Party has survived over 20 years because it is something that students enjoy and are dedicated to. So, limiting on-campus residents to one guest during Block Party weekend is seen as only a hiccup for those really committed to celebrating Bloomsburg style.
It is understandable that the university and the town want to take strict precautions for safety purposes during Block Party weekend. The event does get a lot of press, and rightfully so. However, by making such a big deal about the event, enforcing so many rules and restrictions for the Block Party weekend, they are only adding to the hype surrounding the annual party.
Many attendees of Block Party are students from other universities because they have seen the hype of Block Party on social media and have heard about it through word of mouth. Rules and restrictions are important and they do help keep kids safe, but no matter how strict the rules are, Block Party will live on. The university and the town need to accept that.