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Party Tips

Partying Without the Police

Follow These Simple Steps for a Fun, Safe, and Responsible Gathering:

When hosting a party or social event, it’s best to take into consideration any neighbors you may have with small children, elderly or long-term neighbors and full-time employees in various fields. These individuals may have different work schedules, different sleep schedules and different noise level expectations than NU students. Therefore, it is often a good idea to let neighbors know of party plans. (It is generally a good idea to talk with your neighbors on many occasions, not just the day before a party!).  Exchange phone numbers, have your phone turned on during the party so that neighbors know to contact you first if the noise is too loud, or if other problems occur so that you can work with your roommates and guests to correct them.

  • Make a plan for where your guests will park.
  • Encourage guests to walk or carpool together to reduce parking congestion and the risk of impaired drivers.
  • Negotiate an end time and a clean-up time with neighbors.
  • Lend a helping hand. Offer to mow neighbor's lawn, shovel snow, etc.
  • Ask your neighbors what their past experiences have been with students.
  • Agree with roommates/housemates about "house rules".
  • Determine the invitation list and the number of guests.
  • Guests talk louder to be heard over music; then, music gets louder so guests can hear music over conversation; then…, etc., etc. Agree with roommates to establish a maximum Music Volume.
  • Decide on what food and non-alcoholic beverages to provide. Remember that students can have a complete and enjoyable college experience without drinking.
  • BYOB? To keg or not to keg? Have extra trash cans/bags available.
  • Establish a Responsible Monitor that will:
    • Monitor the exits/entrances.
    • Turn away those persons not invited/wanted at party.
    • Help to enforce "house rules."
    • Speak with your neighbors.
    • Talk to police should they happen to show up. Watch for drunk drivers.
  • Make sure your guests are considerate of your neighbors and don't do things like park cars on lawns, trespass or vandalize property.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Public Nuisance Ordinance and check on your property.
  • Are you familiar with the people at your party?
  • Have you secured areas/property that you do not want people to have access to?
  • Are the people at your party of legal drinking age?
  • How is the noise level?
  • Are people parked in designated/appropriate areas? Are neighbors' spots being blocked?
  • Is anyone getting too drunk/impaired? You could be liable if they get in an accident.
  • Are people leaving with cups? This draws attention, creates trash and could lead to an open container violation. If police stop someone for an open container violation, this may give them probable cause to enter your residence.
  • What is your guest’s behavior like when they are leaving? Are guests trespassing, or urinating in your yard or neighbors' yards, or making excess noise?
    • If so, take action!
  • Keep the party indoors to cut down on clean-up time and noise. Shut the windows and walk outside from time to time to check the noise level.
  • If your neighbors call or stop by to tell you the party's too loud, cooperate with them. Otherwise, they may end up calling the police.
  • If the party gets beyond your control, call the police yourself at 911.
  • Let the "responsible monitor" (should be a leaseholder) talk to police. Don't get in the way; you could end up being charged with obstruction and/or resisting.
  • Do exactly as police instruct. If police are instructing you to shut down early, do so. Failure to take action could cause much more serious problems. If guests have had too much to drink, don't let them drive. Call a taxi/ride-sharing service, call Safe Ride, arrange for a ride with another guest who is sober, or invite them to stay over. Have your guests stay inside until the vehicle arrives (so as not to create a noise disturbance on the street).
  • Clean-up/Damage Control—completed before 10am.
  • Make sure you yard/neighbor's yards are clear of any trash, cups, etc.
  • Talk with neighbors to determine if they experienced any problems.