This past Friday and Saturday evenings, Waltham police officers went door-to-door to many off-campus student houses threatening arrests if noise complaint calls were made later in the night. Party plans were halted and the upperclassmen of Brandeis headed to bars in Waltham, clubs in Boston and even to other schools. While there were still orientation activities scheduled for first-year students, once the festivities ended, the new students of Brandeis found themselves in a social ghost-town.Brandeis is a far cry from the stereotypical Animal House vision of college life, but we all knew that coming in. How can it possibly be, however, that in a school of over 3,000 18-to-22 year-old-young adults, it is a struggle to find activities on or nearby campus on the first weekend of a semester? The answer is simple: consistent discouragement.

There is a line between infringing on privacy and maintaining a peaceful community, and the Waltham police have crossed that line. Preemptive bullying is unreasonable, especially on the first weekend of school when no parties have even occurred.

Much off-campus housing is occupied by residents of legal drinking age. These students have every right to have guests over and to consume alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their homes. Parties should be under control and monitored closely by responsible, sober residents. However, these parties should not be eliminated with the threat of imminent arrest. With off-campus housing struggling socially, on-campus life has remained this year surprisingly tame. This past weekend there were very few parties in Mod, Ziv or Ridgewood Quads, and the campus-with few exceptions-was virtually dormant.

Much of the programming Brandeis offers is wonderful, but is not necessarily for everyone. At a school that constantly encourages "community" and boasts a tight-knit student body, the social life is severely disjointed. With few exceptions (notably the always anticipated semesterly "Mod Fest") there are very few events that bring students together.

Brandeis is stereotyped as being a school that is boring and has no parties. The Princeton Review, one of the most widely read rankings of colleges and universities, perhaps sums it up best on its Web site. The first line under the heading 'Campus Life' reads, "'If you're looking for a big party school with outstanding sports, don't come here,' warns a junior."

If Brandeis wants to compete with other colleges as a top school it needs to start matching its top-level academics with an even somewhat comparable social-life. The University should stop trying to squelch parties-on and off campus-and should encourage students to find their social niche and to enjoy themselves at Brandeis rather than going elsewhere.