House party horror: Video warns Manchester students of ‘uninvited’ dangers

Manchester students are being warned of the risks of having wild house parties through a new online video campaign.

The short film, entitled ‘Student House Parties: The Impact’, was created by Manchester Student Homes as part of the Alcohol Impact project, run by the National Union of Students and Home Office.

Manchester Student Homes teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union, who wrote, directed and starred in the film.

The video follows a lively house party with an open door-policy, which quickly spirals out of control.

Sarah-Beth Cooper, community officer at MMU’s Student Union and part of the team that created the film, said: “The video was made by students at MMU as part of The Union and University’s involvement in the national NUS Alcohol Impact pilot project.

“It highlights some of the risks involved in large scale house parties, as well as the effect they can have on neighbours. And it encourages students to look after themselves, their friends and their community.”

Colum McGuire, NUS Vice President (Welfare), said: “Our Alcohol Impact Scheme works with students’ unions and institutions to change attitudes towards drinking and building healthier, safer, student communities.

“Participating institutions and students’ unions have to meet certain criteria ranging from shaping students’ union policy, to working in partnership with local community groups and residents.

“Each institution also undertakes a number of more ambitious interventions, such as the creation of alcohol-free spaces at social events to make things more inclusive and help change social norms around drinking.

“Going to university should be fun and exciting, but it’s really important too that students consume alcohol responsibly during this period and beyond.

“For many students in new environments it’s important to have safe spaces where they can have fun, regardless of their approach to alcohol, and there should be extensive support systems in place to pick up signs of students having problems and support them through it.”

The campaign comes just a month after John Leech, Liberal Democrat MP for Withington, took the issue of late-night parties in Fallowfield to Parliament.

Mr Leech said police and council officials felt unable to intervene with rowdy parties until they had finished, and called for a 24-hour hotline that deals with complaints immediately.

Speaking in the House of Commons in December, Mr Leech said: “Over the years, as a councillor and then as an MP, I have dealt with many cases of noisy neighbours and antisocial behaviour, but in this part of the constituency it is certainly the case that a small minority of students have damaged the reputation of students and universities by making the lives of other residents a misery with late-night parties.

“Many of those parties seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Reportedly, up to 300 or 400 people attend some of the largest.

“Before the summer, one party estimated to have been attended by 300 students celebrating the end of their exams resulted in the collapse of the entire lounge floor of the house. In recent weeks, the situation has got worse, and residents have come to the end of their tether.”

Mr Leech said that Manchester City Council need to dedicate more resources to dealing with anti-social behaviour as student accommodation facilities in Fallowfield, such as Owen’s Park, plan to expand their sites to accommodate a further 800 students.

He added: “I very much welcome the new legislation that has helped the police to tackle late-night noisy parties. I urge the Minister to look carefully at suggestions for improvements to the legislation that would make it even more effective.

“I recognise the need for universities to be seen to be taking effective and firm action to discourage a repetition of bad behaviour, and I urge the council to take the necessary steps to assist the police and the local community to tackle what has become a real problem in this part of my constituency.”

For more information about Alcohol Impact, click here.

Image courtesy of Manchester Student Homes via YouTube, with thanks.

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