Campaign hopes to curb bad behavior

Posters for the new "Party Legal" campaign that should be appearing on campus in about a week. (Via Katie Quaranta)

City and university officials hope a new campaign aiming to educate potential partygoers about the law will encourage students to indulge legally and safely.

The campaign — which should be launched within about a week — will be called “Party Legal,” and Athens and Ohio University officials said they expect it will promote students to make good decisions in unsafe situations.

“With (the posters), I’m hoping that the party throwers will be safer and smarter, while also being aware that if something were to get out of control, they won’t be in trouble with just the city, but also the university,” Interim Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones said.

The newly designed posters will build off the current “Be Smart, Be Civil, Be Safe” slogan and will include tips — from preventing littering to asking belligerent guests to leave — on how to host a get-together without it becoming a “nuisance party” under the city’s law.

Athens and University police have been cracking down on noise violations and nuisance parties in the area in an effort to curb the fest mindset that can lead to unsafe and illegal behavior from students and partygoers.

“Since APD is focusing much more on noise violations, it’s only fair that (students) become more educated about the issues,” Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said. “I hope (the campaign) is effective, but only time will tell.”

Rather than its negative aspects, OU’s strong academics and strengths should be emphasized when promoting the university, Vice Provost for Enrollment Craig Cornell said.

“We don’t necessarily have an anti-partying school marketing plan,” Cornell said. “We just always talk about the OU experience.”

“Party Legal” will be the focal point of the campaign’s three posters, but they will also include several new features that will promote the former “Be Smart, Be Civil, Be Safe” campaign, Hall-Jones said.

The posters have been well received so far and have garnered little negative feedback, Hall-Jones said.

“We’re not telling students they can’t party,” Hall-Jones said. “We’re trying to educate students on how to party legally and make sure they are aware of the rights they have.”

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