All-Campus Email: “Open Container” Policy In Effect

A new week at Wesleying typically means a new issue for Wes students to get angry about, and the summer’s no exception. The Tour de Franzia debacle blew over and Mytheos’s trademark vitriol lost its edge, but Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Whaley flies to the rescue with an all-campus email announcing an amendment to Wesleyan’s AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) Policy: a ban on misuse of prescription drugs and, more controversially, a ban on open containers of alcohol on University property:

Wesleyan policy also will prohibit open containers of alcohol on University property beginning this fall. This change brings our policy more in line with our peers, and should help us address problems associated with transient public drinking, clarify expectations for alcohol use on University property, and resolve discrepancies between University policy and existing City ordinances.  The new policy will not prevent students of legal age from responsibly consuming alcohol in their residences (or in the backyards of senior houses); nor will it apply to registered events, such as University-sponsored activities, approved student parties, Spring Fling, etc.  At the suggestion of some of the student leaders with whom I’ve consulted, members of the Wesleyan community who are of legal age will be permitted to responsibly consume alcohol on Foss Hill during daylight hours.

Previously, public consumption of alcohol by students of legal age was only banned in Usdan, academic buildings, and within 15 feet of a sidewalk or street. The possibility of an open container policy was discussed in an April 16 Argus article, wherein current WSA President-Elect and then Chair of the Policy and Accountability Committee Micah Feiring ’11 stated his firm opposition to the proposal:

A ban on open containers would encourage the type of drinking that leads to alcohol poisoning and would seriously jeopardize student safety. Such a policy would unfairly prevent those of legal drinking age from enjoying a beer on Foss Hill on a beautiful day.

Feiring reaffirmed his commitment to fighting the proposal in a May 4 interview with the Argus:

My largest worry is that the administration is going to move forward with an open container policy without any student support and without consulting the student body first. In the past, the administration has really been great about listening to and incorporating student concerns, especially with things like budget cuts, and I’m hopeful that they’ll do that with the open container policy, too. I’m really concerned that we may not have the necessary student voice on that.

What say you? Will the policy simply encourage heavy pregaming before going out? Will the exceptions provided—including, thankfully, Foss Hill, Senior House backyards, and registered events like Spring Fling—dull its impact? Does Scott Backer’s April 16 statement—that “having the ability to walk around with alcohol or to be able to consume alcohol in public spaces or during campus events places alcohol in a central role rather than the event itself”—make any sense at all? Do we really want our policy to be “more in line with our peers” anyway? Does the administration’s complete failure to incorporate WSA input in such an important decision simply reaffirm the WSA’s lack of significant voice in major campus issues?

Discuss in the comments.

58 thoughts on “All-Campus Email: “Open Container” Policy In Effect

  1. Anonymous

    Talk to your friends from other colleges, and ask them about how enforced the alcohol policy is. I’ll bet that most schools are far stricter than Wes is. They’re doing this for a few immediately apparent reasons:
    1. Liability (if shit happens because people were drunk, Wes could conceivably get in trouble for regularly permitting underage people to be drunk)
    2. PSafe got fed up with our drunken asses trashing the campus every weekend, Tour de Franzia in particular.
    3. OMG ITS CAUSE ROTH HATES US AND WANTS TO RUIN ALL OUR FUN!!!1!

    Even if it’s a minimal reduction in risk in exchange for a slightly more substantial reduction (this all depends on enforcement, anyway) in student life, that’s definitely a trade the admin would take.

  2. Anonymous

    Talk to your friends from other colleges, and ask them about how enforced the alcohol policy is. I’ll bet that most schools are far stricter than Wes is. They’re doing this for a few immediately apparent reasons:
    1. Liability (if shit happens because people were drunk, Wes could conceivably get in trouble for regularly permitting underage people to be drunk)
    2. PSafe got fed up with our drunken asses trashing the campus every weekend, Tour de Franzia in particular.
    3. OMG ITS CAUSE ROTH HATES US AND WANTS TO RUIN ALL OUR FUN!!!1!

    Even if it’s a minimal reduction in risk in exchange for a slightly more substantial reduction (this all depends on enforcement, anyway) in student life, that’s definitely a trade the admin would take.

  3. addz

    many wesleyan events involve free coffee, a beverage containing a different drug than alcohol.

    when i go to these events on campus, i completely forget about the original reason i am there. i always become far too distracted by this “transient” ability to walk around sipping my drink so publicly. it’s just so hard to concentrate on anything else when i’m trying to get my fix.

    therefore i believe that public coffee consumption must be banned on the wesleyan campus, as it is placing caffeine “in a central role rather than the event itself.” this is a crucial measure to preserve the integrity of our institution!

    hopefully, soon we can restrict public food consumption as well. i am constantly disgusted by the amount of people eating with friends in the usdan courtyard, or snacking together by the tables outside of weshop. what type of community are we trying to create, anyways?

    things are really getting out of hand; show some respect, people.

  4. addz

    many wesleyan events involve free coffee, a beverage containing a different drug than alcohol.

    when i go to these events on campus, i completely forget about the original reason i am there. i always become far too distracted by this “transient” ability to walk around sipping my drink so publicly. it’s just so hard to concentrate on anything else when i’m trying to get my fix.

    therefore i believe that public coffee consumption must be banned on the wesleyan campus, as it is placing caffeine “in a central role rather than the event itself.” this is a crucial measure to preserve the integrity of our institution!

    hopefully, soon we can restrict public food consumption as well. i am constantly disgusted by the amount of people eating with friends in the usdan courtyard, or snacking together by the tables outside of weshop. what type of community are we trying to create, anyways?

    things are really getting out of hand; show some respect, people.

  5. anon

    In my opinion, this is just a backhanded way of banning Franzia. Apparently they feel the fine wasn’t enough to keep us from doing it again…

  6. anon

    In my opinion, this is just a backhanded way of banning Franzia. Apparently they feel the fine wasn’t enough to keep us from doing it again…

  7. anon

    This isn’t about pernick or some other WSA president. As students we need to do something about this. If the WSA can’t stand up to the admin then we have to stand up collectively. We need to unite and fight the admin on this decision on theirs. Just because the WSA failed does not mean we will.

    Fight for old Wesleyan!

  8. anon

    This isn’t about pernick or some other WSA president. As students we need to do something about this. If the WSA can’t stand up to the admin then we have to stand up collectively. We need to unite and fight the admin on this decision on theirs. Just because the WSA failed does not mean we will.

    Fight for old Wesleyan!

  9. anon

    Oh no we have to respect the same laws as the real world I’m going to cry to mommy and daddy now

  10. anon

    Oh no we have to respect the same laws as the real world I’m going to cry to mommy and daddy now

  11. anon

    this isn’t a new thing, the admin has been pushing this for years. they waited until pernick graduated, they knew he’d ream them if this happened under his watch.

  12. anon

    this isn’t a new thing, the admin has been pushing this for years. they waited until pernick graduated, they knew he’d ream them if this happened under his watch.

  13. anon

    The WSA- Inept. We need a student representative body that represents all of wesleyan. The WSA does not represent us and even if they did, they have proved to be completely incapable of upholding our concerns. We need a different student body that the admin will take seriously. The admin is making Wesleyan into a school that most of us here came so that we could avoid. Why do we need to get in line with our peers? Why do psafe call the cops if you are caught with a little bit of weed? Why can’t psafe protect and keep us safe instead of trying to fuck with us always. We need to incorporate policy change in the way psafe deals with us and in the way the admin treats students. This is not boarding school, we need our voices to be heard. We cannot get pushed around by the admin. This drinking policy change is unnecessary and will lead to more problems than ever.

  14. anon

    The WSA- Inept. We need a student representative body that represents all of wesleyan. The WSA does not represent us and even if they did, they have proved to be completely incapable of upholding our concerns. We need a different student body that the admin will take seriously. The admin is making Wesleyan into a school that most of us here came so that we could avoid. Why do we need to get in line with our peers? Why do psafe call the cops if you are caught with a little bit of weed? Why can’t psafe protect and keep us safe instead of trying to fuck with us always. We need to incorporate policy change in the way psafe deals with us and in the way the admin treats students. This is not boarding school, we need our voices to be heard. We cannot get pushed around by the admin. This drinking policy change is unnecessary and will lead to more problems than ever.

  15. anon

    as a senior i feel like i will not really be affected by this. i drink in houses, in backyards, on foss hill during daylight, and at events like spring fling. i also doubt that i’m going to get caught carrying a drink from one party to another, and besides that’s what flasks are for. i just think the university is generally trying to tighten up its restrictons on drinking to make the school’s image improve towards the parents and alumni who donate money. it will be interesting to see what the atmomsphere is every weekend with PSAFE, i have a feeling things are about to get less lenient.

  16. anon

    as a senior i feel like i will not really be affected by this. i drink in houses, in backyards, on foss hill during daylight, and at events like spring fling. i also doubt that i’m going to get caught carrying a drink from one party to another, and besides that’s what flasks are for. i just think the university is generally trying to tighten up its restrictons on drinking to make the school’s image improve towards the parents and alumni who donate money. it will be interesting to see what the atmomsphere is every weekend with PSAFE, i have a feeling things are about to get less lenient.

  17. Recent grad

    Beyond the safety concerns (which suck), another thing this could possibly effect is post-thesis drinking outside Olin, which is a great tradition and some of the most fun I ever had at Wes. Hopefully they’ll let that go forward…

  18. Recent grad

    Beyond the safety concerns (which suck), another thing this could possibly effect is post-thesis drinking outside Olin, which is a great tradition and some of the most fun I ever had at Wes. Hopefully they’ll let that go forward…

  19. anono

    everyone should start carrying around empty solo cups on the weekends to fuck with psafe.

  20. big deal

    Ok, so students of legal age can still drink on Foss Hill during the day. I don’t see what the big deal is, just keep your liquor hidden if you want to go around drinking at night, which is what most smart people do anyway.

  21. big deal

    Ok, so students of legal age can still drink on Foss Hill during the day. I don’t see what the big deal is, just keep your liquor hidden if you want to go around drinking at night, which is what most smart people do anyway.

  22. anon

    #5, have you ever taken a beer/solo cup from one party to another party? yeah, if p-safe actually enforces this [bullshit] rule, that’s done.

  23. anon

    #5, have you ever taken a beer/solo cup from one party to another party? yeah, if p-safe actually enforces this [bullshit] rule, that’s done.

  24. anonymous

    word, mr. ferring and blablabla.

    Keeping drinking out of the public sphere is going to make campus less safe. Not only can it encourage more dangerous private drinking habits, as Ferring mentioned in the Argus article, but it could also discourage people from being in public parts of campus on weekend nights—exactly the time you want to have plenty of people around public places, in order to make sure they are safe!! any policy that will contribute to emptying public spaces at times when those areas are most vulnerable is completely misguided.

  25. anonymous

    word, mr. ferring and blablabla.

    Keeping drinking out of the public sphere is going to make campus less safe. Not only can it encourage more dangerous private drinking habits, as Ferring mentioned in the Argus article, but it could also discourage people from being in public parts of campus on weekend nights—exactly the time you want to have plenty of people around public places, in order to make sure they are safe!! any policy that will contribute to emptying public spaces at times when those areas are most vulnerable is completely misguided.

  26. anon

    given the exceptions, what does this REALLY effect? where do people drink outside other than senior house backyards and foss hill during daylight? Anywhere we would normally drink is not affected…unless y’all really like to pregame in front of Roth’s house.

  27. anon

    given the exceptions, what does this REALLY effect? where do people drink outside other than senior house backyards and foss hill during daylight? Anywhere we would normally drink is not affected…unless y’all really like to pregame in front of Roth’s house.

  28. anon

    since when do they listen to students? they just wait until all the students are off campus and hit you with a 2000 dollar fine land change the alcohol policy

  29. anon

    since when do they listen to students? they just wait until all the students are off campus and hit you with a 2000 dollar fine land change the alcohol policy

  30. blablabla

    I think the administration has some mixed up priorities regarding safety. Students are getting mugged and beaten up on campus and Psafe is being directed towards breaking up parties. It seems they care more about the image of the school (in the eyes of prospective parents? law officials?) than about student safety. After the thing at Reed, they are probably nervous about law officials getting involved, but Psafe should be used to keep students safe.

  31. blablabla

    I think the administration has some mixed up priorities regarding safety. Students are getting mugged and beaten up on campus and Psafe is being directed towards breaking up parties. It seems they care more about the image of the school (in the eyes of prospective parents? law officials?) than about student safety. After the thing at Reed, they are probably nervous about law officials getting involved, but Psafe should be used to keep students safe.

  32. anon

    what pisses me off is how the administration always says psafe is there to keep us safe. now they’ll be there to get 22 year olds in trouble for having a beer outside.

  33. anon

    what pisses me off is how the administration always says psafe is there to keep us safe. now they’ll be there to get 22 year olds in trouble for having a beer outside.

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