The university alcohol policy faces major changes, as administrators have proposed restricting kegs at parties, reducing the number of drinks each guest is allowed and defining standard punishments for offenses.
The changes aim to clarify the current vagueness of the alcohol policy, Associate Dean of Students Ken Rockensies said. ?There is no move or proposal to go dry at the university,? he said.
Students voiced their concerns to the Alcohol Policy Committee April 25 at the Interfaith Chapel.
Clauses that would prohibit kegs without ?special approval? and limit drinks to four per person ? down from the current limit of five ? particularly generated student discontent.
However, junior and committee member Doug Schneider said administrators had made many concessions since the beginning of the negotiations. Originally, they had wanted to ban kegs altogether.
?This is a huge leap compared to where it was originally,? Schneider said. ?They invited students to come in and this is keeping [the alcohol policy] the same. We?re a pretty liberal campus.?
Although the current alcohol policy prohibits hard liquor at parties, it says nothing about kegs.
Currently, nine out the 12 fraternities on campus are already prohibited from having kegs by their national chapters.
Alpha Delta Phi and Delta Kappa Epsilon are allowed to have kegs by their national chapters. The other campus fraternity that may have kegs is Chi Phi, whose national chapter requires each local chapter to comply with its specific university policy.
These three fraternities will be allowed to have kegs at registered events as long as they follow a ?special approval? process.
The details of this process have not been finalized, which has frustrated some fraternity presidents.
The fraternities that are not allowed to have kegs must make their parties BYOB or have a third outside vendor provide alcohol.
Fraternity presidents expressed concern about the liability of having outsiders bring alcohol to their parties and about serving them after they arrive inebriated.
A third-party vendor would take some of the legal responsibility, providing some protection for the group throwing the event.
The committee researched the alcohol policies of the eight other schools in the University Athletic Association. Five schools do not permit kegs. Three schools do not have a keg policy, but do place restrictions on party registration.
The proposal to restrict drinks to four per person came after looking at a Harvard University study that said five drinks constitutes binge drinking. However, students at the meeting said this study is simply a survey and does not clinically define binge drinking.
The policy change would also emphasize individual accountability, clearly spelling out the consequences of rule violations.
Punishment for the first offense would be six months of probation and completion of an alcohol education program.
?The disciplinary process holds a person accountable and reenforces their dignity,? Rockensies said. ?It is honoring the law and respecting the academic environment.?
Committee members plan to clarify details by fall, particularly concerning the ?special approval? required to have kegs.