Party.0 offers alternative night life

Jessica Johnson

UW Oshkosh students have discovered an alternative way to party with Party.0, which features all the activities of a party, but without the alcohol. Party.0 President Chris Schierl said the non-profit organization throws large-scale house parties, including a disc jockey, competitions, prizes, free food and free non-alcoholic beverages. The organization is not associated with UWO. Schierl said they try to host a party one to two times a month on Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., and the average attendance is around 150 to 200 people. According to Schierl, Party.0 was founded in 2012 by alumnus Jake White, who saw a need for an alternative way for students to meet people and have fun without the societal pressures of drinking. “Party.0 is a place where students can go without feeling pressured into drinking,” Schierl said. “It is an option to escape the typical culture of UWO, while still getting to experience college life.” Schierl said the parties are filled with the same types of activities a student might find at a regular house party. “We have foosball, Cards Against Humanity, Twister, crazy ultimate spoons, ping pong, beer pong, minus the beer, and lots of other fun games,” Schierl said. “It’s great because you don’t feel bad the next day, and you end up meeting new people.” Schierl said organization throws themed events, including an annual beach-themed party and a flappers and dappers 20’s-theme party at the Vault on Main Street. Monica Fieck, a UWO student and Party.0 attendee, said she thinks this alternative option is a brilliant idea and loves getting to meet new people. “The first time I went to Party.0 I played a game of spoons with a handful of other people,” Fieck said. “We all got to know each other and I am still friends with most of them. It was so much fun.” Schierl said a popular misconception about Party.0 is it’s just for non-drinking students, and many people end up judging the organization just from hearing the word “sober.” “You don’t actually know what it is about until you go,” Schierl said. “We have people who come to our parties that might drink other times, but decided they just wanted to try something different one night. It is not just for sober party goers. Try it before you hate it.” Fieck said Party.0 believes students don’t need to have alcohol in order to have fun. However, it doesn’t judge others or believe drinking is evil and wrong. “[Party.0] is important to have in the UWO community because it provides a place for students to go that is not only fun and friendly, but is also safe, sober and completely legal for everyone,” Fieck said. UWO junior Jamie Burns said she has never been to a Party.0 event before, but said it sounds like a great alternative for students who want to get out, experience Oshkosh and meet people without facing the pressures of drinking. “I know a lot of people who are the life of a party without any alcohol in them,” Burns said. “The college experience is not all about drinking, so I’m glad there are events where students can still party in a way that is most comfortable for them.” According to Schierl, Party.0 has many sponsors that help support the organization, including Red Bull and Marco’s Pizza. “Red Bull, one of our biggest sponsors, has really supported Party.0 and our partnership has grown stronger each year,” Schierl said. “Last year we threw a party at the Vault on Main Street, an alternative to pub crawl, and they donated a ton of Red Bull, which was awesome.” Schierl said Party.0 is going national. UW-La Crosse and St. Norbert’s college have taken on the Party.0 platform, and White is traveling to different colleges around the country to promote the growing organization. “A lot of universities were trying to make similar organizations, but it was so connected to the university and anti-drinking that nothing really worked, where [Party.0] is a student-led alternative option to partying,” Schierl said. “It is what the students want, not what the university wants.” Fieck said Party.0 has been a positive influence on her life because it provided a way for her to take a break from school and have fun in a safe environment. “It helps with my schooling because I can sleep well that night knowing I won’t have a hangover in the morning that would hinder me from working on papers or projects,” Fieck said. Schierl said there are no upcoming events for the rest of the semester, but the Party.0 team is currently planning events for spring semester, where they hope to provide another alternative pub crawl and other fun new events.