Letters to the Editor

Change Poly culture

Enacting laws against partying on roofs, or sending police to clamp down on noisy parties, are half-measures at best, draconian at worst, and likely to be ineffective.

The party scene at Cal Poly reflects a deeply ingrained cultural pattern that will diminish only if and when the dominant culture changes. For generations, young people have felt a need to engage in alcohol-fueled reveling and sexual experimentation. They harbor an expectation that college is an ideal place to engage in these behaviors.

Cultural change is very difficult to bring about, and necessarily involves a long-term commitment on the parts of those who would promote it. Two recent successful examples of cultural change are the reduction of cigarette smoking and the acceptance of gay marriage — both of which occurred only after decades of concerted and consistent effort on the parts of activists seeking change. Those who are charged with solving the partying problems at Cal Poly should study these movements and model their efforts after them.