Before you plan your next party, you might want to take a look at the new alcohol policy taking effect at UR this fall.
The policy is not finalized, but administrators have announced several changes and clarifications.
One major change proposal is a limit of four drinks per person at a party. Dean of the College William Green supported the change. ?It?s the right policy to have, particularly in a time when the American Medical Association says college binge-drinking is a national health emergency,? he said.
Senior and Fraternity Presidents Council President Mark Branton expressed concerns about the proposed four-drink maximum. ?It takes away everyone?s right to decide what?s best for them as an individual,? he said. ?There is a large range of individual tolerances.?
Senior and Delta Kappa Epsilon House Manager Chris Mancini also was displeased. ?It is very frustrating for the amount of alcohol we are allowed to be reduced by 75 percent,? he said. ?Serving one beer per hour to individuals of legal age during the course of our event, we will not even have enough to serve all of our 21-year-old brothers, let alone any of our guests.?
Another change comes along with freshman housing. Alcohol is now banned from freshman rooms and common areas on the freshman quad. Resident Advisers and D?Lions who are 21 or over are exempt from this rule.
A committee met over the summer to write the new policy. They stopped short of finalizing it. ?We felt it important to not make decisions over the summer without input of students,? Associate Dean of Students Ken Rockensies said.
He added that the committee is now finishing up its work. ?We?d like to get this all taken care of in the next couple of weeks.?
The handbook on student discipline, which was given to all student residents as they checked into their rooms, contains the most up-to-date version of the policy.
Rockensies recognized that the policy needs some changes before it can be final. For example, the policy currently states that any event or function that is planned in advance, regardless of whether it involves alcohol, must be registered. ?We?re still finalizing the criteria,? Rockensies said.
Branton said that the current situation, with the alcohol policy being enforced but not completely written, has left social hosts in an awkward position. ?Organizations supporting events with alcohol have been left in a sort of limbo, until the new regulations come,? he said. ?Though we have had some problems due to the incomplete status of the policy, Dean Green and the administration have been very supportive in rectifying these issues as they arise.?
Assistant Supervisor of Security Michael Epping said that UR Security is glad to have the specificity of the new policy. ?It?s easier for us to deal with,? he said. ?We?ve been anticipating the change all summer, so it was a smooth transition.?
The new policy places a lot of responsibility on the hosts of the party. Hosts of registered parties must complete the Social Host Training Program, which is offered by University Health Service.
Epping said that Security would handle parties differently now than they have in the past. He said that in the past, unregistered parties that met the criteria for registration would have been shut down immediately. Under the new policy, officers have more discretion.
?There?s an element of trust in the policy. And that?s a good thing about it,? said Rockensies.
Branton, who is a member of DKE, said that his fraternity has experienced a decreased sense of privacy this fall. ?Though the fraternities recognize the legal right of the university to patrol our houses and floors, we feel that our current situation needs to be addressed,? he said.
?There are fundamental differences between the living rooms in our residences, and the common lounges and walkways in campus residence halls,? he said. ?In the future we hope to establish a set of guidelines for both our residents and university officials, so that we can provide not only for the safety of our community, but also a sense of respect and courtesy for all its members.?
The current alcohol policy is available at http://www.rochester.
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