Bates students have a number of different options when they want to get wild and crazy. By far, the most popular choice is on-campus parties. Because of Bates’ relaxed alcohol policy and the absence of frats or sororities, most parties take place in dorms, usually in the hallway, and involve a lot of beer pong and card playing. Off-campus parties are popular among upperclassmen because they grow tired of typical drunken freshman parties. Off-campus parties usually involve a number of different rooms in one apartment, which gives partiers the chance to move around and hang out with different groups of people. Carding tends to be strict in Maine, so only students who are over 21 can go into bars. Even people who are of-age tend to stay on campus when they’re drinking because the bars and pubs in Lewiston aren’t all that great. A few people will go to Portland on the weekends, where the bars are much better, and there are quite a few clubs worth going to, as well.
It’s safe to say that drinking dominates the social scene at Bates. The school organizes a number of chemical-free activities on the weekends, but these are usually sparsely attended. Alcohol is easy to get, and there’s never any trouble finding a party. Off-campus parties are better, but Batesies still show the same unhealthy attitude toward alcohol no matter where they are: it’s not worth drinking unless you’re going to get so plastered that you can’t count your toes. Many Batesies would rather sit in the hallway and drink a case of Milwaukee’s Best than go to a pub, have a few pints of Bud, and play some pool. Dorm damage on campus is high, and, in the past, students have been hospitalized for alcohol-related causes. Not all parties on campus send students to the hospital, but the trend on campus leans toward funnels, keg stands, and beer pong. Students who wish to avoid the party scene, however, are capable of doing so with little to no trouble.