One year after UR implemented a ban on all open containers of alcohol including kegs, the administration still fully supports the policy, while Greek life has had to make minor changes.
The open containers ban, more popularly referred to as the “keg ban” was placed into effect in response to statistical data that showed, on average, college students drink less at parties without open containers.
Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matthew Burns attributed this result to what he termed as the “tap it dry” mentality. Once a keg is opened, students are more likely to finish all of it because it would otherwise go to waste. With beer in cans, students can save what was not drunk for another day.
UR is not alone in its open containers ban, as Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others have similar policies.
“[UR] is only doing what many other colleges have done already,” Burns said.
When the ban was first put in place, fraternities largely ignored the ban and as a result incurred numerous violations. At the beginning of this year, four violations were recorded.
The Fraternity Presidents’ Council could not be reached for comment.
Dean Burns decided that he needed a way to enforce the ban without alienating the fraternities.
Burns set up a meeting with the FPC and offered a compromise ? if the fraternities did not incur any more violations until January, 2003, he would dismiss all violations to date.
“I told them, do whatever you want, but the kegs have to go. Build a shrine to the keg, I don’t care. They have to go,” Burns said.
So far, the fraternities have kept their end of the compromise.
Most, however, view the ban on kegs as a mere economic inconvenience.
“[The keg ban] hasn’t affected us at all. It just comes down to a dollars and cents issue,” President of Alpha Delta Phi and senior Robert Lamonica.
A quarter keg of Milwaukee’s Best costs around $44 and contains around 88 drinks, while a 12 pack costs 12 dollars. Only 72 cans could be purchased for the same price.
Even without the precedence of other colleges banning open containers, most fraternities have good reason to not have open containers present in their parties.
“Most national Greek organizations already have similar bans on open containers,” Director of Greek Affairs Monica Miranda said.
Miranda also echoed the viewpoint that the open containers ban has had very little effect on the fraternities.
“People are pretty much ok with it. I haven’t heard from anyone who are saying, ‘Monica this ban is just unfair,'” Miranda said.
Some students failed to notice the changes. “I didn’t notice [the change],” an underaged junior said. “Every time I’ve ever gone [to the Fraternity Quad], they just had beer [in cans].”
Others disagree with the policy in general. “I think it’s a dumb rule because it says [fraternities] can’t have kegs but can have cans,” an underaged sophomore said. “I think there should be a lot of alcohol on the Fraternity Quad.”
Although open containers are banned, there are special exceptions. Organizations must register with the student affairs office any party where open containers will be present. They will be granted permission if the organization can prove that at least half of all those attending are over 21 and the alcohol is served by caterers.
Additional reporting by Cyrus Levesque and Chadwick Schnee.
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