Tag Archives: alcohol policies

It’s called ‘Ruit

Whatever you call it, everyone’s favorite drinking game is apparently important enough to leapfrog the current economic woes and shoot to the top of the list of one state senator, who introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly to ban the game in bars:

Sen. George W. Della Jr., a Baltimore Democrat, said such games encourage excessive drinking, which leads to raucous behavior in city neighborhoods. A bill he introduced late last month would have outlawed any games that award drinks as prizes in city taverns.

On Monday, a copy of Della’s bill, SB 233, was circulated in e-mails and posted on Web sites of local beer pong leagues, setting off an online firestorm. Fans of drinking games sent a flurry of angry e-mails to the senator, who withdrew the legislation today on the eve of its first hearing in a committee.

Beer pong enthusiasts were overjoyed with Della’s decision.

“I’m very happy,” said Jim Reiter, co-founder of MD Beer Pong, which bills itself as the state’s largest beer pong league.

“We had a campaign going to get everybody to contact the senator, and I was really happy to see all the people that came together,” Reiter said. “I was getting a lot of e-mails and calls myself. I’m glad to see that it works. It’s kind of cool.”

Yeah, Senator, it’s not like your constituents have to deal with a mayor under indictment, a homicide rate on a record-setting pace, a train wreck of a slot-machine bidding process, and a multimillion-dollar statewide budget deficit. Does the term “Prohibition” ring a bell?

Though it is a bit scary that there are now professional leagues devoted to drinking games…

NYTimes Against Lower Drinking Age

Remember that petition by a lot of American college presidents to lower the legal drinking age? The New York Times editorial board takes a break from being generally socially liberal to say that this is a bad, irresponsible idea, because college drinking culture is the real problem:

Certainly, surreptitious drinking can lead to excessive drinking, but that does not justify the college executives’ conclusion that “21 is not working” where binge drinking is concerned. Europe, often cited as an example of controlled use of alcohol by younger people, has binge drinking problems. France, which has long allowed drinking for 16-year-olds, is debating raising the age.

The 21-year-old floor is not the problem. It is the culture of drinking at school.

Thoughts, underage alkies?

College Presidents for a Lower Drinking Age

College presidents from over 100 American universities have signed a petition urging a revision of the drinking age from 21 to 18, in response to many recent studies which suggest that barring legal alcohol access to college-age students actually fuels on-campus binge drinking.

The Amethyst Initiative, a coalition of university chancellors and presidents which formed last month, is behind the growing movement, and seems to be on the verge of a publicity onslaught:

The statement the presidents have signed avoids calling explicitly for a younger drinking age. Rather, it seeks “an informed and dispassionate debate” over the issue and the federal highway law that made 21 the de facto national drinking age by denying money to any state that bucks the trend.

But the statement makes clear the signers think the current law isn’t working, citing a “culture of dangerous, clandestine binge-drinking,” and noting that while adults under 21 can vote and enlist in the military, they “are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.” Furthermore, “by choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.”

The petition includes the presidents of such notable schools as Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, and Middlebury. So far Wesleyan hasn’t signed, but Michael Roth seems to be a fan of good ideas.

Check out Professor Claire Potter’s excellent post on why civilized (legal) collegiate drinking is greatly preferable to the currently prevalent, potentially brain-damaging boozemania.

Links:
Amethyst Initiative: Mission Statement – Rethink Drinking Age
CNN.com: College chiefs urge new debate on drinking age
Tenured Radical: Make Mine a Double, Please

You’ve got to fight / For your right

Not sure whether or not this is related to the (shelved?) 25-person party policy, but a “Party Hosting Liability” link has been added to the e-Portfolio under “Student Life at Wesleyan.” It leads to a page containing four points concerning host liability:

  • “According to Connecticut state law, you may be held liable for the actions of individuals [to] whom you have served alcohol.”
  • “You should never serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.”
  • “You should never serve anyone who appears to be intoxicated.”
  • “You should contact Public Safety for assistance if an individual becomes intoxicated, or if you are concerned about their [sic] safety.”

The page also asks a user to click a “Submit” button at the bottom certifying that (s)he has read the four points and is aware that (s)he “face[s] potential criminal, civil & institutional sanctions” for violation.

It seems like this would be something that’s covered during the pre-GRS Community Standards Workshops (which are mandatory if your group wants to choose a woodframe); any current or past woodframe residents who paid attention, please tell!

The Eighteenth Amendment reborn

A Friday article on Inside Higher Ed details the latest steps a number of institutions nationwide are taking in an attempt to crack down on binge drinking. Yale, Penn, UMass, and NESCAC peer Tufts have all banned drinking games outright. The University of Florida, which was recently named the #1 party school in the country in the Princeton Review’s 2009 rankings, is taking it a step further and attempting to extend this ban to beyond Gainesville:

Under newly proposed regulations, Florida students — on or off the campus — would be prohibited from “excessive rapid consumption” of alcohol. The policy specifically bars “drinking games,” as well as “alcohol luges,” which are carved ice blocks that serve as frozen pathways for liquor shots.

Patricia Telles-Irvin, Florida’s vice president for student affairs, said the university’s existing regulations were already designed to curb binge drinking. The proposed changes, however, are meant to target specific high-risk drinking activities, she said.

The regulations also forbid keg standing, an acrobatic drinking feat where students are inverted over a keg, with legs held aloft, as they guzzle straight from a tap.

“This generation really wants us to be more specific, and we’re trying to be as clear as possible about what we mean,” Telles-Irvin said.

Inside Higher Ed: “Game Over

Ask not what the WSA can do for you…

… because Robert Alvarez ’11 has summed it up right here:

The truth is, most of us don’t know what goes on inside that WSA meeting room, and (more importantly) what the WSA actually does around campus. So, here’s a quick and easy way to stay updated without even leaving your computer:

This week’s meeting (on Feb. 3) was a review of what the WSA has accomplished last semester, and here are a few of them:

Online Course Evaluation: Starting next semester (hopefully) we will be able to evaluate our teachers online, despite some faculty fears that some students might be extra harsh (especially if evaluating drunkenly at two in the morning).

New Fire Safety Inspection Policies: Weapons and drugs mean a phone call to PSafe, and probably an eventual phone call to MPD. Alcohol means a phone call to ResLIfe, only if in a dorm building where frosh live. Closets, drawers, etc. are off limits unless there is evidence of “an imminent life safety hazard” like extensions cords leading to a concealed space, a material covering a pile of stuff on a desk, a tin foil-covered meth lab, etc.

WestCo Downsize: Rumors were spreading that WestCo was to be totally thrown to the GRS (General Room Selection) dogs. Fear not, community-based living fanatics. The proposal was to just throw one building to the GRS dogs, and that’s not happening any time soon. But, if demand for WestCo does not increase (over 25% less students applied this year), then the URLC may reevaluate the program.

Alcohol Policy: Remember fears that Wesleyan may adopt an alcohol policy that looked something like the Eighteenth Amendment? Bans on kegs, hard liquor, and open containers? Lucky for you, Student Affairs Committee of the WSA spoke out against these proposals and they were dropped.

The New York Times: Significant cutbacks due to budgeting issues and increased prices haven’t led to much objection yet. A newspaper recycling program (finally we’ll learn to reuse papers) will also be instituted in the next few weeks.

We didn’t just sit around being nostalgic about last semester in this week’s meeting, here are some things to expect in the near future: changes to Wesleyan’s International Studies policies, hot items (like pasta and burritos) at the Usdan Café, and an Electronic Ride Board. Already in existence: a sweet game room in the basement of Usdan (pool tables and board games!)

For more detailed commentary go to Wes On Stack.

And just for fun, the WSA website.