USC’s “Row” Will Reopen January, “Drunk-Proof”

by Jori Barash

Following months of crippling sanctions on the USC Greek community, the administration announced Friday, “28th Street will be fully operational by January with a few newly implemented safety measures.”

According to the statement from Assistant Provost, Mark Hammers, “We understand the Greek community has waited longer than expected for full privileges, but I think everyone will be glad we achieved such a fair compromise between fun and safety.”

Surprisingly the simplest project will be installing fluorescent arrows on the sidewalks outside each house. 28th will resemble the recent division of Trousdale Parkway. The lanes will control the flow of traffic in either direction, organizing pedestrians by level of inebriation.

Even after sidewalk bumps and holes were smoothed into safety last year, students continue to trip both in and outside Greek houses. In response, the newly painted sidewalk will also be surfaced with the mesh material found in playgrounds. The same private contractor, Playcraft Systems, will also drunk-proof the houses, covering all hard and sharp surfaces with foam padding.

These measures are expected to eliminate 94% of current potential injuries.

After a report on sexual harassment in Greek life from the Center for Women and Men and Freshmen, nearly every room will have cameras sending a live feed to DPS, a project nick-named Big Brother.

“Too many young men and women take advantage of each other because there’s the sense that nobody’s watching. It’s good to know that Big Brother is always watching.” Vanessa Calvin, a spokesperson from the center, said.

The IFC opposed this measure as “an extreme violation of privacy” and negotiated a compromise. Event guests can request a spot on the waiting list for one of the many “hook-up rooms.” Each couple will need to sign a consent waiver to access either of the two private spaces per house. The rooms can be booked for up to 7 minutes at a time.

The most controversial requirement will be the new safety checkpoints, unofficially referred to as “Project Buzzkill.” Partygoers must swipe their student ID to enter any party, and receive a bracelet with a unique barcode. Near the entrance of each house, there will be a table with a set-up, similar to those near the campus gates after 9pm.

Guests must return to this table every 40 minutes to scan their bracelet and take a Breathalyzer test. Anyone with a BAC over 0.07% will be escorted off the row. Obviously, no one can enter a party either, without a safe BAC in the  0.01% – 0.05% range.

Although many students felt the measures were extreme, they grudgingly accepted the need for safety.

As junior party planning major, Stephen Davidson phrased it, “Anything’s better than Menlo.”