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Remember in loco parentis? 

San Luis Obispo

Here I am at 4:40 a.m., awake, having been awakened at 2 a.m. by my neighbors as their party broke up. I heard at least one girl screaming "I am a WOWie!" Good advertising/PR for WOW. Actually, this is the third night of partying on my block, and by Cal Poly students who are supposedly not WOWies, but juniors and seniors, and Greeks.

I wonder, why should I be mad at my neighbors all the time? And are they really neighbors at all, or more like transients who could care less about what the true residents think of them? Do their parents care? Does Cal Poly care? Do their landlords care?

I was a WOWie once. I was a Cal Poly student once. I partied in those days, too. But I was no marauder of the streets, waking neighbors, looking for any place that had some action going on. These transient residents and the marauders who come to their parties act like they own the streets and neighborhoods at night, kind of like gang members, only supposedly from "better families" and better "educated."

My "solution" would be a long-term cultural shift back to "in loco parentis"—like the good ol‘ days, when universities were legally responsible for controlling the behavior of their enrollees. Short of that, I would change or eliminate the culture of WOW from one giant party to one giant let's get ready for scholarship, and beefing up neighborhood patrols.

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