First off, thank you to all of my friends who made suggestions for the first post in this feature. Rochester is my hometown and no matter where I go, it always will be. I want to do any article about it justice. I had a hard time deciding what to do, and while I will not be posting on any of the ideas suggested, one of them did push me in the direction I decided to go.
Every college town has its issues with high-spirited youth. I happen to have been born in one village that has struggled mightily with this issue on and off over the years and now live in a city neighborhood that at the very least goes through one weekend a summer where things spiral out of control. This is nothing particular to Rochester, but it is, perhaps, a bit more of an issue since we have so many universities for a region our size.
It is only natural to test your boundaries when you are out on your own for the first time in your life. Finally being treated like an adult means finally realizing what responsibilities come with it. It is a challenge most of us rise to, with varying degrees of success. While we are still in that process, though, we can be a terrific strain, especially in groups, to the community around us. It does not help that so much of our dialogue about it amounts to “kids will be kids.” For starters, no, sorry, they’re not kids any more. Second of all, kids or not, we still hold people accountable for destroying property and for menacing others (try being a woman or “obviously gay” male walking the streets in either Brockport or Park Ave when party season is in full swing.)
Besides, we tend to be less forgiving of high-spirited youth if they are from the wrong neighborhood, are of the wrong ethnicity or wrong economic background. I am not saying the behavior of those that get out of control in those instances should be dismissed either, but if we are going to call one group out we should call the other.
Really, I don’t ask we shut down the parties. They are, especially the Park Ave fest ones, a tradition and most of them are under control. It would be nice to see reigning in the wilder ones more of a priority for both the BPD and RPD. That way the only people participating in them would be those who want to.