Safe raving with residents on campus

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Courtesy of the Residence Hall Association

Have you ever wanted to be a part of a schoolwide dance party on the UA Mall? Well, if the answer is yes, then your dream will be fulfilled on Saturday night. The Residence Hall Association and The Board at the UA have joined together to throw a rave on the Mall for all UA students.

“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness as to the dangers of alcohol and rave culture, and to promote healthy and safe decisions on campus,” said Sarah Mason, vice president of programming for the RHA and a sophomore studying care, health and society and nutritional sciences.

Although this is the primary purpose of the event, it also provides an alternative Saturday night outing for students who would otherwise go out to parties that provide alcohol or other illegal substances. Overall, the rave is meant to give students a night of clean fun in a safe environment.

Raves began in the late 1980s on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. From there, they spread across countries and continents until rave culture was found all over the U.S.

In a talk on NPR called, “How the Internet Transformed the American Rave Scene,” Ariel Meadow Stallings discussed the negative side of rave culture.

“I still do believe it wasn’t all about drugs,” Stallings said. “But it is a drug culture. Even if you’re not on drugs, the culture of the party is determined by the fact that there are people who are.”

The drug MDMA, otherwise known as Ecstasy, was made increasingly popular by rave culture and, of course, is also incredibly dangerous.

Raves are dangerous places to frequent, as stated on the FBI’s web page in an article entitled, “Tips for Parents: The Truth About Club Drugs.”

“[Raves] are dangerously over-crowded parties where your child can be exposed to rampant drug use and a high-crime environment,” the page says. “Numerous overdoses are documented at these events.”

Because these typical raves are highly dangerous for multiple reasons, the RHA and The Board decided to hold the rave as a sort of public service announcement that will hopefully teach students about the dangers of rave culture.

Throughout the event, which will take place on the Mall at 8 p.m., there will be dancing, a DJ, mocktails, cornhole, Giant Jenga and giant Pong. Additionally, there will be other educational activities like “drunk goggles” that show students the effect of certain drugs and alcohol. The RHA and The Board have been planning this event since last December.

“This event is based off of an event called Rainbow Rave that occurred last year,” Mason said. “However, we have made quite a few changes to what the program was back then.” 

Although major changes were made to the event itself, the core values and principles of the rave remain the same. The target audience of the rave is all UA students, but there is an extra push for students living on campus to attend.

“I think this event has tremendous potential to draw a large number of students,” Mason said. “We have put a lot of effort into guaranteeing a high energy and enjoyable environment that promotes safety while still allowing for students to get the most out of their Saturday night.”

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