Talking about a change in alcohol policy

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By Tamara Stone

According to the Encyclopedia of Union College History, from 1795 to 1821, the regulations only forbade “getting drunk.”

Since 1795, things have certainly changed on the Union College campus. From 21+ bracelets to keg-less weekends to the point system, the administration continues to try and monitor the alcohol consumption on campus.

Excessive drinking is not a problem unique to Union campus. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in four young adults, age 18-34, binge drink. Many Union students have voiced anger towards some of the more recent alcohol related rules. One interviewed student argued that “people should bring kegs back because it’ll be cheaper for the frats and better for the environment.” Students question whether these newer rules have helped the ‘alcohol problem’ on campus at all. “Making a stricter alcohol policy only worsens the alcohol culture on campus. People want what they can’t have.”

Timothy Dunn of Greek Affairs explained that the decision to go kegless was a matter of insurance protection and safety at fraternities, who risk quite a lot legally each time they throw a party.

“Fraternities pay nearly 14, 000 dollars a year for insurance coverage. One of the stipulations of this coverage had to do with the use of kegs. So to make sure that the coverage fraternity money was spent on was activated, we decided to remove kegs off of campus. It did not have to do with the fear of binge drinking students as much as it had to do with financial issues,” said Dunn. “As far as the hard alcohol policy changes goes, the college is not interested in policing who drinks what on campus, especially if there are of-age students who are legally able to drink what they want. The policy change is more of a safety measure than anything else.”

One transfer student offered different view on the topic, saying: “Union College rules are way more relaxed than the school I came from.” Relaxed or rigid? Only time can tell what alcohol policy will serve Union best in the future.

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