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Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Tulane charged Mardi Gras dorm guests $60 apiece

By Daniel de Vise

Tulane University graciously allowed students to host up to two same-gender friends in their dorm rooms this month for Mardi Gras -- at a charge of $60 apiece.

It's an unusual policy. Then again, Mardi Gras is an unusual event. Tulane and other local colleges fill with excess students during Mardi Gras. To keep some semblance of order, the university limits the number of guests and requires everyone to register and put on an identity wristband. The wristband costs $60, payable by credit card.


Why the fee? It covers "the cost of additional Facility Services coverage, including extra custodial services, additional Public Safety coverage, as well as Mardi Gras administrative costs," the university explains on its Mardi Gras Administration page.

For the sake of decorum, the university forbids the following behavior from its guests:

- Behaving in a lewd or indecent manner in the halls

- Throwing objects from windows, ledges, rooftops or balconies

- Standing or sitting on rooftops, ledges or balcony railings

- Smoking on campus except for in designated smoking areas

There follows a lengthy list of alcohol-related prohibitions, covering kegs and "party balls," whatever those are.

University spokesman Michael Strecker provided some context in an e-mail:

"Some New Orleans universities don't allow overnight guests during Mardi Gras at all. We have allowed guests during this time for approximately the past 15 years as a convenience to our students, definitely not as a money-making venture. The $60 fee covers extra safety and security provided by Tulane University police as well as the extra staffing and facilities services required. The fee is a total of $60 no matter if guests stay for 1-6 days. Of the universities that do allow and charge guests during this time I know our rate is among the lowest."

(Photo credit: By Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

By Daniel de Vise  | March 10, 2011; 12:35 PM ET
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I think the fee is fairly reasonable, considering the costs associated with police / security overtime and janitorial clean-up.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | March 11, 2011 1:27 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: chicgoods | March 11, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Party ball (a.k.a. beer ball) info:

Posted by: dredmin | March 11, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

They've been doing this for at least 10 years. Nobody knew what a "Party Ball" was back then either.

Posted by: g9fool | March 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

So? Sounds fair. Mardi Gras is a big time for college students. Hotel rooms are scarce.

Posted by: hebe1 | March 11, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Why is this a news item? This has been going on since back in the day ...

Posted by: mccxxiii | March 11, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Probably cheaper than a hotel room!

Posted by: rmarinko | March 11, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Tulane is all grown-up. When I went there during the 1960's we were able to work this out among ourselves without any interference from the adminstration and there was no harm done to the dorm. One year, my roommate had moved out, so I was living alone in what was called a "2 man room." Boy was I popular. For about two weeks prior to Mardi Gras, my phone did stop ringing as Newcombe girls who had met some guys in the quarter from some place up North needed a place for them to spend the night. (In those days dorms were sex segregatged and the rules were strictly enforced.) For the most part, I said yes. I think the most interesting guys I met were the ones from MSU who had bought a hearst so they could drive down to New Orleans. The rules were simple. No vomiting in the room and everybody had to clear out when I went to class the next morning. In today's fear driven world, our behavior must seem nuts. But we were all just college guys drinking away a good time (no drugs). Nothing bad ever happened. The visitors were happy. The girls were happy. And when it was all over, I went back to being the unpopular nerd I had been before. Ah, sweet memories.

Posted by: melech18 | March 11, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Great idea.

Posted by: TOMHERE | March 12, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

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