Beach Week Misconceptions

Ocean+City+Beach+was+ranked+one+of+the+top+10+cleanest+beaches+in+the+country+by+the+%0ANational+Resources+Defense+Council.+Ocean+City+is+a+popular+beach+week+destination.+--Greta+Anderson

Ocean City Beach was ranked one of the top 10 cleanest beaches in the country by the National Resources Defense Council. Ocean City is a popular beach week destination. --Greta Anderson

Ocean City Beach was ranked one of the top 10 cleanest beaches in the country by the  National Resources Defense Council. Ocean City is a popular beach week destination. --Greta Anderson
Ocean City Beach was ranked one of the top 10 cleanest beaches in the country by the
National Resources Defense Council. Ocean City is a popular beach week destination. –Greta Anderson

Beach Week.

For seniors who look forward to this post-graduation tradition, these two words resonate with a weeklong celebration in Ocean City, Md. composed of sun, sand, childhood friends and of course, freedom.

For others, these two words may resonate with what Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak described as: “an annual migration of newly graduated, newly liberated, barely legal teens to the shore, where they party, plot, puke, hook up, scheme, swim, roam [and] dirty dance in foam.”

In addition to this anything but pristine reputation on our hands, public spotlight on underage beach week drinking recently increased after photos emerged of Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in the midst of an underage drinking party thrown by Landon HS graduates at his beach town house.

However, even though some graduates participate in illegal activities throughout their beach week, many ignore that students also look forward to the other activities Ocean City, Md. offers, such as crab feasts, beach days, boardwalk rides and mini golf.

Ocean City’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee created the Play it Safe program to distract graduates from alcohol and drug abuse. The program offers free bus passes and events such as kayaking, free pizza eating contests and paintball.

Each year, 10,000 to 13,000 graduates sign up for the program, meaning that a vast number of graduates choose to “play it safe.a��

Property owners have also seemed to take refuge from graduates through either charging absurdly high rates, even though the place is neither luxurious or in demand or not renting to graduates at all.

“It was really difficult finding a place that would fit our expectations and needs. It got extremely frustrating at some points. I made so many phone calls and emails; it was ridiculous,” senior Hayley Egart said.

Because of these reported high prices, some graduates begin independently saving up their own money in order to afford rent and other expenses for the week.

“I have a designated account for beach week. I’ve been saving up for a while since I’ve heard the expenses can range up to $500,” senior Sammy Bauer said.

However, some other property owners who have rented to seniors have ended beach week early, evicting graduates for reasons such as noise complaints, illegal possession of alcohol and drugs and violating the maximum amount of occupants per unit.

“Be careful a�� [Renters] look to find an excuse to toss [graduates] out after a few days and then they re-rent it,” property owner Constantine Pergantis said.

Although it is fairly up to the discretion of property owners to rent to graduates, owners should consider that not all graduates are destructive and irresponsible.

The Ocean City Police Department has estimated that ten percent of teens receive underage drinking citations, but the teens that choose to act responsibly should not be placed under the negative stereotype of other negligent graduates.