Having recently moved back on campus for my final year at Mercer, I began to wonder, “Is it possible to throw a party in a dorm?” Well, the answer is yes, and I did so without violating Mercer University’s Housing Agreement.
There are a few simple tricks that can help with the party- throwing process without having your RA knocking on your door within ten minutes.
First, you must conquer the issues that parties cause.
Issue 1- Noise. As we all know (or should know), Mercer has quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. This may seem discouraging being as though all ‘good’ parties don’t start until at least 10:30pm and go until the wee hours of the night.
I avoided noise violations by playing games with my guests. We did our own version of MTV’s Silent Library, where the objective was to be as quiet as possible throughout the night. As guests arrived, they picked a team (designated by color) and whichever team had the most points at the end of the night for being the quietest won the prize.
The prize wasn’t much, being as we are all broke college students; I simply enticed my friends with a bowl of candy.
Issue 2- Food. Due to limited resources in a dorm room, I asked my guests to bring something to eat. I paid particular attention to which of my guests had access to ovens and who was restricted to microwaving.
By having the guests bring food, I ensured that everyone had something they would enjoy and that there would be a diversity of foods. Some foods brought by guests with ovens included cookies, pigs in a blanket and cupcakes.
Other guests brought drinks, fruit (liberated from the caf and arranged on a plate, making a neat little fruit tray), and potato chips. Some guests were concerned about not having anything to bring, so I asked them to bring some napkins and utensils (liberated from the UC).
Issue 3- The Actual Party. My party was such a success for several reasons. First, I kept the party small. I only invited ten people. This even number of guests allowed each person to have someone to talk to at all times while I was able to converse and ‘float’ around as hostess.
I also invited people who knew each other or at least had classes together. This ensured that everyone recognized someone at the party and there weren’t any awkward introductions.
Having people pick teams when they came in bonded people and gave them a particular group of people to associate with and broke the ice better. This also worked in my favor, because my guests used the teams we were already on and insisted on playing games such as charades and several card games. Having already delegated teams, it was easy to come up with activities to play.
Finally, I kept a movie constantly playing in the background. Being as music typically gets turned up too loud the minute a party gets started, I decided that putting on a fairly well-known movie would give people something to talk about if there were any uncomfortable moments. Playing a movie also set an unspoken noise guideline. Everyone wanted to be able to hear the dialogue, so they kept their voices low.
My party was fun because it was different than the typical party. It gave my friends a chance to be a little goofy, a little silly, and do things that you can’t do downtown.
And around 2:00 am (which is when guests are required to leave dorms), everyone had had their fill of junk food and we all were ready for something with substance, so we went to Waffle House.
So I challenge you to try to throw your own party. There are several ways to have fun and still not have MerPo show up at your door. Just get creative and see what cool ideas you and your friends can come up with!