Guidelines for Social Gatherings

Protecting Your Neighbors from Your Party

Call your neighbors as far in advance as possible and inform them of your plans.

  • Emphasize that you will have the gathering under control
  • If they are not very happy about this revelation, ask them what concerns they have; see if you can come to a consensus about steps you can take to prevent their concerns from happening (i.e. trash on their lawn, excessive noise past 12:00 a.m., etc.).
  • You are neighbors for the entire year. Make it up to them for putting up with you with some nice gesture (Bake them cookies. Shovel the snow off their sidewalk. C’mon, you can come up with something).

Protecting Yourself From Liability

Assign a party host to

  • Limit the amount of people at the gathering
  • Regulate the music volume and noise of the party
  • Make sure there is no litter (i.e. beer cans) on the lawn and keep all attendees indoors.
  • Address any law enforcement issues or complaints from neighbors should the need arise

Make these two signs to help protect you from liability

  • “This is a PRIVATE PARTY. No one is permitted to enter unless they have been specifically invited. If you were not invited you do not have permission to enter this property.” (Put these signs at any entrances and doorways to your residence. Protect yourself from the behavior of those at the party that are random visitors). Download a Pre-Made Sign.
  • “You Must Be Twenty-One or Older to Drink Alcohol.” (Put copies of this sign anywhere near where any sort of alcoholic beverages are consumed. You are still accountable for the behavior of your guests, but at least you’re making an effort to adhere to the law). Download a Pre-Made Sign and hang copies in visible places.

Interacting with Police Officers

Remember that police officers are not the bad guys here. They are responding to a situation, and should not be treated with hostility; they are just trying to do their job. Be courteous. It seems simple, but there may be natural tension from the situation that simple politeness can easily solve. Also, it should be the Party Host that speaks with the law enforcement officials. Do not make sudden movements or harass any officers; this could easily lead to an arrest and an inevitable search of your property.

For additional social gathering tips and a list of the laws that may apply, please download a copy of the Good Neighbor Guide created by Student Government.