Twitter, a service that lets users blast messages to cellphones, is the latest way for college students to learn about parties. Neighbors of at least one college are saying it’s contributing to out-of-control student gatherings.
Residents of Westchester, the neighborhood surrounding Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles, say microblogging services like Twitter are not only allowing students to find out where their classmates are partying, but also when the gatherings are about to be shut down by the police.
Residents have blogged about their concerns, saying microblogging is creating a situation in which “students move from party to party fed by today’s technology” and can easily avoid getting caught for underage drinking. A local news station quoted a Los Angeles police officer describing “100 or 150 kids” filing out of a house with “all the things lighting up in their hands” — presumably in response to a microblogged warning.
But not everyone is convinced that microblogging leads to nonstop partying in college neighborhoods. Kelly Sutton, a Loyola Marymount student who co-founded the blog Hack College, says “LMU is pretty slim when it comes to parties” and that “Twitter has nothing to do with the party scene.” Either way, it sure beats a brightly colored flier. —Caitlin Moran