If you’re a student hosting an event at which 50 or more people might attend, you must register your event four days in advance. To understand a bit more about what that means, read on.
For many years, students have been required to register on-campus parties with their residential college dean. The idea was that the dean would know which students to call or text if any problems arose (most commonly, noise complaints), and that both the dean and security personnel would know what was going on in the college and respond appropriately. This system had been working successfully for years, but it had never extended beyond the colleges.
The current system of off-campus party registration - which is required for all student-hosted events (not just “parties”) with 50 or more attendees - is modeled after this system. It evolved, though, out of individual relationships that Yale Police officers had been forming with off-campus Yalies who consistently hosted large parties. Both officers and hosts found it was much easier to deal with spur-of-the-moment situations late at night if they had already met and exchanged phone numbers during the day. Noise complaints that might have warranted breaking up the party were now resolved by a text message exchange. And the hosts felt more comfortable communicating with the police if they needed help dealing with a situation.
When the new off-campus event registration requirement was first implemented in fall 2012, student response was mixed - some students thought the new rule was intrusive or inconvenient or designed to get them in trouble. But as the semester progressed and both police and students adjusted to the new system, attitudes toward it grew more and more positive. By now it has become an accepted part of how the Yale community communicates with itself.
Any student-hosted event at which 50 or more attendees are expected must be registered at least four days in advance. If the number of participants at an unregistered event exceeds 50, the host must reduce the number of guests or end the event. So if there’s any chance that the event might exceed 50, it’s best to go ahead and register.
Why are off-campus events required to be registered?
- So that the police know where there will be large events and can patrol accordingly to keep people safe on their way to and from the party
- So that there is better communication and better relationships between students and police officers
- So that in the event of a problem, police officers can text or call hosts to check in rather than unnecessarily breaking up the party
- So that the hosts know the police and feel comfortable calling for help if necessary
Aren’t off-campus parties outside the jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Regulations?
No - the University Regulations address student conduct both on and off campus (cf. hazing, sexual misconduct, etc.)
Is this policy enforced?
Yes - when it comes to the attention of the police or the university. Police officers aren’t proactively counting people, but if a party draws attention to itself, any violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.
What if it’s too late to register?
Better late than never. While the requirement is four days in advance, any notice is better than no notice at all, and will still help keep everyone safe - and may save the party from being broken up in the event of a problem. And both the police and the Dean’s Office will appreciate some notice more than none.
Who sees the information I put in the registration form?
The information you input will go to the Yale College Dean’s Office, your residential college dean, and the Yale Police. Generally, the only response you’ll get from this information is that a police officer may check in with you to see if you have any concerns and make an introduction.