Buffalo Bucket List, No. 10: Party on UB South Campus

Partying on South Campus is a freshman rite of passage

The Buffalo Bucket List is a series of articles highlighting my journey to achieve the full college experience in Buffalo, from Buffalo wings to Oozefest.

It’s the coming of age for college students – you’re still a high school student until you do it. You just can’t quite say that you’re “so college” until you ride the “drunk bus” and party on South Campus.

South Campus and the surrounding University Heights is widely known by college students for being party central. From bars to open house parties to night clubs, the nightlife scene of South Campus is well-rounded and never dull.

There is a certain sketchiness to that party scene as well: drunken mobs of students wandering the streets, public urination, police officers coming to shut down parties, brawls and over 40 people in a crowded basement. The bus ride to and from South Campus isn’t called “the drunk bus” for nothing.

Everyone has a South Campus story. One student told me how he was dancing in the basement of a frat house when the sewage pipe burst open and unsavory fluid fell onto everyone in the basement. Another told me about how his favorite weekend activity is running through multiple backyards to evade the police.

While I’m not supporting putting yourself or others into dangerous, illegal or just plain stupid situations, going to South Campus is an experience you can’t afford to skip. You see a completely new side of Buffalo and of the student body.

Besides, your parents are probably expecting you to be partying, right?

The drunk bus is an experience in itself. Students offer free food, sing and make wild predictions for the night. The ride back from South Campus is usually even crazier. Most people are far drunker than they were on the ride down. Everyone on the bus could be wildly debating unimportant issues, such as who the best goalie in the NHL is, or singing the chorus of “Hey Jude” as loud as possible.

There is an element of safety to be taken into consideration. Always party with friends and don’t leave any friends behind. While most people are just partying to have a good time, there are a few people you’d be better off avoiding. And remember to never drink the jungle juice, a mix of alcohol and who knows what else served by the hosts of the party. Don’t drink anything that you can’t identify.

That should really be a general rule, though.

When partying on South Campus, remember that you’re in someone’s neighborhood. This isn’t just party territory. The University Heights are home for many people – students and non-students.

Residents of University Heights don’t necessarily mind contained partying, but they do become upset when things get out of control.

“One of the biggest concerns that residents have is safety both for the students and the community in general,” said Darren Cotton, vice president University Heights Collaborative in an email. “Many of these homes are close to a century old and so when you begin to crowd 100-200 people in them, it becomes extremely dangerous if there were to be a fire, gas leak.”

Cotton said that “a vast majority of residents love having students in the neighborhood” as they bring “new ideas, creativity and diverse perspectives.” He feels that improved communication between students and residents would better the community.

The worst thing you can do while partying on South Campus is put yourself in a dangerous situation. Be smart. Don’t go into a dark basement with over 100 people. Don’t drink the jungle juice. Don’t run around screaming in the streets at 2 a.m. Remember that the area is a neighborhood, not a playground.

Partying on South Campus can be a great night. It’s sketchy at times, but as long you’re smart about it, it makes for some great times and stories.

Dan McKeon is the features desk editor. He can be reached at dan.mckeon@ubspectrum.com