Ban not enough

A University decision to make residence alcohol-free during this year’s Frosh Week has impacted all first years, even those who are legally able to drink.

Assuming that the goal is to keep frosh from drinking, the proposed policy change is inadequate. While it may deter first years from drinking within residence, the policy will send students elsewhere to drink.

The alcohol ban takes frosh away from the care of trained dons who are tasked with looking out for their residents’ well-being. Instead, the downtown bars and house parties of a strange city become an
attractive option.

No one at a Student Ghetto kegger has been hired to keep first years from binge drinking, and there’s no Campus Observation Room to take them to if they’ve had too much.

There wasn’t an official announcement of the policy. University administrators have remained silent on the issue, failing to explain the reasons behind the alcohol ban. Dons and other residence student leaders have been quiet as well.

Transparency has been absent from the University’s policy but if put in place, it would aid the administration’s cause. If new rules are aimed at preventing alcohol-related deaths, it should be stated.

If the coroner’s report issued to address the deaths of Cameron Bruce and Habib Khan is any indication, then the tragedies of last year serve as an awful reminder of the dangers of alcohol. Instead of being downplayed, telling these stories could shock students into awareness.

The University needs to take a more proactive stance, much in the same way that sex in residence is addressed. Students are handed condoms regardless of their stated intentions, and are prepared should the need arise.

Drinking is common and shouldn’t be swept under the rug; it would be better for dons to hand out water and coach their residents in the recovery position rather than doling out punishment.

Imposing a new rule is not enough to stop common behavior, so policy should be adapted for best practices.

Residence is meant to be a student’s new home, one where they transition from youth into adulthood, but this policy treats first years like irresponsible children.

This policy makes drinking of any kind illicit. It takes a responsibility of adulthood and sets it as off limits.

Judging the success of the policy is also troublesome. There stands the question of what metrics will be used to measure whether the alcohol ban was effective or not.

Regardless of whether the policy continues after Frosh Week, the administration’s decision to ban alcohol is a band-aid solution to a complex issue.

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