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Banning hard alcohol/liquor at college parties - discuss

I'm watching the Today show and they are doing a segment on binge drinking at college. The segment mentioned a couple of colleges are banning hard alcohol/liquor at undergrad parties. I was like what?!

(I have no idea on the ins and outs of the bans and didn't look it up after my initial shock) 

Are they actually going to have someone policing the alcohol consumption at a party? Because let's face it lots of people attending are underage so are these parties suddenly going to have 20 people at them and someone policing drinks? I doubt it. Not to mention people will always have parties elsewhere, go off campus or whatever so I personally don't think it will stop anything. 

Thoughts?

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Re: Banning hard alcohol/liquor at college parties - discuss

  • PamBeesly524PamBeesly524 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2016
    Yeah  I don't think that would work at all. Considering this is coming from the Today show, I'm not surprised - they don't exactly provide valid or well-researched news reports. But when I was in college we would find ways to drink in dorms that didn't even allow booze, before I was even of legal age to drink. How on earth are colleges going to ban only one kind of alcohol but allow the other? 

    ETA words.
    vikinganna87Heffalumpcowgirl8238
  • The college I did my Masters at banned hard liquor last year in response to the climate of sexual assault and problems with binge drinking. The success has been mixed from what I understand; people still get drunk, some on hard liquor, but the penalties are now harder for those violations. 

    Groups have to register their parties and check IDs (they had to do this before the ban as well), and if they're found to be serving hard liquor they face stricter punishments. 

    Heres a link about a follow up survey that campus newspaper did this spring. 

    http://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2016/03/a-look-at-the-alcohol-policy-one-year-out/
  • I think it's a good idea. And yes, for on campus parties they do have pretty tight controls anyway. Sure, people will always find a way, but I think it's pretty reasonable to say if you're drinking on campus, you're drinking beer or wine. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I think its a good idea to assist in lessening binge drinking on campus.  This also would have been totally enforceable at my college.  We had our own police department.  You could always call the non-emergency number to have parties that were too loud shut down.  If they showed up and saw the hard liquor, that would be the party hosts problem.

    I will say that during college I was in my no beer phase.  So I did drink mixed drinks, but usually sprite and peach schnapps or apple juice and apple schnapps.  Man - I loved my schnappses!  But I never binged drank and rarely got wasted.  So for me, that would have been a bummer of a rule.  I probably would have just drank ciders instead.

  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    kvruns said:
    I'm watching the Today show and they are doing a segment on binge drinking at college. The segment mentioned a couple of colleges are banning hard alcohol/liquor at undergrad parties. I was like what?!

    (I have no idea on the ins and outs of the bans and didn't look it up after my initial shock) 

    Are they actually going to have someone policing the alcohol consumption at a party? Because let's face it lots of people attending are underage so are these parties suddenly going to have 20 people at them and someone policing drinks? I doubt it. Not to mention people will always have parties elsewhere, go off campus or whatever so I personally don't think it will stop anything. 

    Thoughts?

    Agreed.  It may have the effect that people stop attending on-campus parties and just go to bars and house parties. Or people come with flasks.  I reckon it would have some impact on people in the sense that a lot of party goers just drink what's put in front of them, especially if they're already tipsy or drunk.   And generally hard liquor -- especially if you're drinking shots -- has a quicker impact than beer or wine.  

    I would try to address the root cause of the issue first.  Part of the reason some people go crazy with binge drinking as soon as they get to college is because they don't have much experience with alcohol.  But I also think that exposure to alcohol and learning how to deal with "peer pressure" and social norms is an important part of growing up.

    I actually think lowering the drinking age to 18 would make more sense, but I know a lot of people disagree with me.  I don't think there's anything wrong with exposing teenagers over 16 to having a small glass of wine or beer with dinner.  
    SaintPaulGallyndausvicowgirl8238
  • They have tried to shift the focus at Frosh weeks across Canada from "drinking events" to more "team building" and "Faculty building" events, but they can't outright ban alcohol. 

    Our drinking age is a lot younger and coincides with when kids start University, so there tends to be more drinking on campus and off. The schools try to focus awareness on how to deal with things like consent, not driving drunk and how to help people who may have substance abuse issues rather than out and out banning. It seems to work better. 
    SaintPaulGalvikinganna87SP29cowgirl8238
  • I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
  • I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
    Don't schools have campus pubs? I would assume that's where the parties would be held. 

    The University I attended used to have Grad and Upperclass Dorms until Ontario got rid of Grade 13 and had to use all available on campus dorms for incoming Frosh. 
  • I can only see this working if it's a party for an organization.

    We had "parties" in the dorm all the time.  And it was far cheaper to buy a jug of vodka and mixers than
    I went to a large school and can't see how they plan to enforce it.  Plus, by the time I was in my 2nd semester jr. year I was legally allowed to drink.   Starts to get messy at that point.  
    STARMOON44
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
    I went to a large private school that was located right in a city that had dorms and on-campus apartments. The dorm were mostly freshmen with some sophomores and the on-campus apartments had sophomores, juniors and some seniors, along with some graduate housing. There were off-campus apartments but not enough to accommodate everyone that wanted to live off-campus. My freshman through junior years, I went to more on-campus apartment parties than off-campus so a hard alcohol ban would've been enforceable.

    The school I went to consistently falls within the top 10 party school list and my freshman year the school did institute a policy where frats and sororities could no longer have open parties and had to check IDs because so many kids kept going to the hospital for excessive alcohol consumption. Wouldn't be surprised if a ban like that is next (or maybe it's already become a rule since I graduated).
  • I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
    In my mind I took the story as on campus = fraternity parties (in addition to others but my mind went there). If it is just like dorms or something then I get it since you're not going to have big dorm ragers usually and like you said many campuses you only have freshmen and maybe sophomores living on campus and everyone else is off campus. 

    I went to a small school so like 90% of people were on campus, either in dorms or guys in fraternity houses but I'm pretty sure those were considered "on campus"
    kimmiinthemitten
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 


    My school had traditional dorms where there were usually no parties.  We also had on campus apartments.  THAT was where the parties were.  It was typically 4 people to a 2 bedroom apartment, which had a bathroom, living room, dining area, and kitchen.  You also no longer needed a meal plan in the apartments, so that was something that was always prized. 

    Our fraternity and sorority houses were off campus, but our police department worked with the local police so they would be the ones to patrol it for noise complaints, etc.  So even off campus things could/would get reported to the college's police department.

  • kvruns said:
    I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
    In my mind I took the story as on campus = fraternity parties (in addition to others but my mind went there). If it is just like dorms or something then I get it since you're not going to have big dorm ragers usually and like you said many campuses you only have freshmen and maybe sophomores living on campus and everyone else is off campus. 

    I went to a small school so like 90% of people were on campus, either in dorms or guys in fraternity houses but I'm pretty sure those were considered "on campus"
    Where I went to school, upperclassmen (not freshman - some sophomores, all juniors and seniors) lived in on-campus housing that were not just a dorm room. For example, my junior year I lived in an on-campus townhouse with 8 other girls. We had 4 rooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, etc. and you can guess that we had a ton of bigger parties.

    Not sure how typical that is, but obviously in that situation it's a lot easier to have large parties that are not policed very well by campus security. You also didn't have to swipe in at security or anything, so there was no one to check what kind of alcohol was coming into the house, whereas when I lived in my freshman dorm you had to check in with a security officer before going up to your room. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    When I went to college (many years ago) hard liquor drinking age was 21 while wine and beer was 18. We had parties on campus (frat sections and dorm common rooms) with beer but not hard liquor (advertised anyway). Now with the drinking age being 21 the campus is dry and they do crack down on it. My daughters campus was not a dry campus and the drinking age was not really enforced unless it was really obvious.
  • I can only speak about the Dartmouth ban specifically, but in regard to students coming forward, they have strong "Good Samaritan" policies in that if someone is in danger, reporting protects the student in danger and the reporter from campus sanctions. 

    And the ban was instituted along with a significant campaign to address sexual assault including bystander training and consent education. 

    There were some major problems on campus, sexual assault (Dartmouth is/was under Title IX investigation for its handling on sexual assault) and significant problems with binge drinking (there aren't many other options to socialize there besides organization parties-- the bars in town (full disclosure I used to bartend in town) have really strict ID policies because of strict NH liquor laws).

    The current and previous presidents of Dartmouth were involved in the Amethyst project which is a movement by college leaders to lower the drinking age (to address many of the concerns PPs has posted) to attack the root cause of the problem. 

    There are a lot of problems on college campuses today that universities have turned a blind eye to for way too long. I think this is part of them trying to address issues; it may be too little too late, but they need to do something. 
    STARMOON44speakeasy14cowgirl8238
  • I agree with @charlotte989875. It's not a perfect solution and schools aren't treating it as such. It's just one little thing to change that will hopefully make some incremental difference. 
    charlotte989875
  • I think it is dumb and unenforceable and paternalistic. 

    Dumb:  You can get schwasted on beer and wine.  You can drink moderately sipping mixed drinks/cocktails.  The most drunk I got in college was when a couple of friends and I downed (most of?) one of those giant 4 liter jugs of Carlo Rossi sangria (*shiver!*)  My go-to at the time, on the other hand, was a reasonable amount of vodka mixed with juice.  Neither is inherently more responsible or irresponsible. I didn't really drink beer until after college.

    Unenforceable:  Lots of campuses want to ban drinking and/or underage drinking.  Is there really any track record of success on that?  College students want to drink, and they are going to do it whether their elders are finger-wagging or not.  I can't imagine a world where university officials are called upon to police what exactly students have in their cups at a party.  Maybe the policy could work for official university-sponsored events, but that is what...1% of all total parties?  Less?

    Paternalistic:  It squicks me out when the issue of sexual assault is addressed in any way other than "do not put your genitals/hands/mouths/etc on or in someone without their clear consent."  I don't consider it progress to make rules about what sort of things adults are allowed to drink.  This reinforces the idea that not getting raped is the woman's responsibility, and indeed a responsibility that they are not capable of handling on their own without a rule to (supposedly) keep them from getting too drunk.  It also allows a lot of extra cherry-on-top space for victim-blaming.  "Oh, so you were drinking rum and coke, eh?  Don't you know that's against the rules?  No wonder you got yourself into this situation."

    I went to a small, elite college where there were no "rules*" or "demerits" or whatever the fuck, and we handled ourselves just fine.  The administration treated us like adults, and for the most part we acted like adults.  Every now and then someone would overdo it, and then they or their friends would go to the RA who would assess the situation and call for help if needed.  No fear of "getting in trouble."  There was a supposed dry campus across town and they sent far, far more students per capita to the hospital for binge drinking related incidents because there drinking was furtive and underground and it was dangerous to ask for help because then you would be "caught."

    *Obviously there were some rules.  Harming or threatening to harm another student or academic dishonesty were grounds for expulsion.  I'm sure there were others.  But the administration didn't care if you smoked pot or had a glass of wine or had an entire handle of Jack Daniels if you work was getting done.
    While I agree in principal with a lot of what you're saying, empirically your experience is not borne out in a lot of the data we have about what is happening on college campuses. 

    Most college administrations don't care if people are having a drink or two or smoking a little pot that's not who they are prosecuting; they care that students are, on the regular, going to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Yes, people can still get blackout drunk on wine and beer-- it's a whole lot easier when you're having punch made with 151. 

    Also the Title IX remedies are designed to teach students about consent, and not engaging in any contact without affirmative consent. But for far too long the university system has done nothing about sexual assault. 

    And on enforcement of the liquor, sure it's not perfect. In the Dartmouth case the fraternities has stopped serving alcohol. And fraternity parties make up the major of campus social life (not the less than 1% of campus parties you mention). These parties are regulated, they have to be registering with the FSL office and check IDs-- if they don't their chapters can be shut down. Additionally they have to allow someone from the office to come in to the parties to see if they are serving hard liquor or not. Sure people find ways to drink liquor still. 

    Im not a huge fan of university mandates. But the idea that young adults should just be responsible isn't working. The number of students engaging in binge drinking has risen exponentially over the past 10 years. Campuses can't universally lower the drinking age, so what should they do when it's their students ending up in the hospital weekend after weekend? 

    Last point, the ban at Dartmouth was supported by the majority of the student body when it was enacted. 
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • I guess my broader point is that universities have ignored these problems for far too long and now they're trying things to address them. They're not perfect but what are the other options? Go back to the system of mishandling assault cases? Tell students not to drink so much? Those are the policies that go us in this problem in the first place. 
    STARMOON44
  • I guess my broader point is that universities have ignored these problems for far too long and now they're trying things to address them. They're not perfect but what are the other options? Go back to the system of mishandling assault cases? Tell students not to drink so much? Those are the policies that go us in this problem in the first place. 
    I don't know.  And it makes me furious and heartbroken at the same time.  How do we turn around the massive ship that is a lifetime of indoctrination into a culture of escapist intoxication and male sexual entitlement (two separate issues)?  By the time these kids are heading off to college they are so fully part of such a broken system that it feels almost hopeless at times.  

    Gosh that got bleak.
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • I guess my broader point is that universities have ignored these problems for far too long and now they're trying things to address them. They're not perfect but what are the other options? Go back to the system of mishandling assault cases? Tell students not to drink so much? Those are the policies that go us in this problem in the first place. 
    I don't know.  And it makes me furious and heartbroken at the same time.  How do we turn around the massive ship that is a lifetime of indoctrination into a culture of escapist intoxication and male sexual entitlement (two separate issues)?  By the time these kids are heading off to college they are so fully part of such a broken system that it feels almost hopeless at times.  

    Gosh that got bleak.
    I so completely agree here. I teach roughly 60 students a semester, between half and two-thirds are young women. The data says 1 in 4 will be victims of sexual assault, and I worry about them. About their futures, and careers, and if they are safe on campus. 

    I guess I come down on the side of trying something is better than doing nothing. And if the experiments fail, we gather data, find out what went wrong and try something else. As you said, otherwise the future is way too bleak. 
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Most of my college-day parties were spent binge drinking Trader Joe's 2 buck chuck, so.......

    In other news, my taste in wine has become much more sophisticated now.  


    image
    charlotte989875SaintPaulGalkimmiinthemittenei34
  • levioosa said:
    Most of my college-day parties were spent binge drinking Trader Joe's 2 buck chuck, so.......

    In other news, my taste in wine has become much more sophisticated now.  
    Mine too!  Now I go for the $6 Yellow Kangaroo, lol.
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  • I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
    Don't schools have campus pubs? I would assume that's where the parties would be held. 

    The University I attended used to have Grad and Upperclass Dorms until Ontario got rid of Grade 13 and had to use all available on campus dorms for incoming Frosh. 
    Are campus pubs really a thing? Like an actual bar on campus??

    I honestly had never heard of all these living arrangements described by posters on this thread- campus apartments, townhouses etc. Didn't even realize so many schools had their frat houses on campus. Learn something new every day!

    Obviously knowing very little about this issue starting out, I've seen good arguments for and against in this thread. I'm inclined to think the ban is a good step if it isn't the only thing schools are doing to combat all the issues attached to drinking (binge drinking, sexual assault etc.). I know people can drink mixed drinks responsibly and get drunk on beer or wine, but for most people it's way easier to go overboard on one than the other (especially because in my experience mixed drinks at the college level are specifically designed to taste as little like alcohol as possible... it's not like these kids are at a garden party sipping on gin and tonics, haha).
  • TrixieJessTrixieJess member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2016
    I've heard of this- hard alcohol bans at colleges- and it always confused me, I guess because I didn't realize people at some schools have parties on campus. How does that work, are you just having a rager in the dorms or something? I went to a big state school where basically only freshman lived on campus so we didn't have parties there. 
    Don't schools have campus pubs? I would assume that's where the parties would be held. 

    The University I attended used to have Grad and Upperclass Dorms until Ontario got rid of Grade 13 and had to use all available on campus dorms for incoming Frosh. 
    Are campus pubs really a thing? Like an actual bar on campus??

    I honestly had never heard of all these living arrangements described by posters on this thread- campus apartments, townhouses etc. Didn't even realize so many schools had their frat houses on campus. Learn something new every day!

    Obviously knowing very little about this issue starting out, I've seen good arguments for and against in this thread. I'm inclined to think the ban is a good step if it isn't the only thing schools are doing to combat all the issues attached to drinking (binge drinking, sexual assault etc.). I know people can drink mixed drinks responsibly and get drunk on beer or wine, but for most people it's way easier to go overboard on one than the other (especially because in my experience mixed drinks at the college level are specifically designed to taste as little like alcohol as possible... it's not like these kids are at a garden party sipping on gin and tonics, haha).
    The University of Guelph (where an ex and another good friend went) has 22 bars on campus. My Alma Mater had 4 pubs, now they only have 3, they amalgamated a couple. It's not as though there aren't off campus pubs close either. Depending on where you live, you can't spit without hitting a place to buy a cheap pint. However, our favourite cheesy fry and beer place burned down a few years ago.

  • The University of Guelph (where an ex and another good friend went) has 22 bars on campus. My Alma Mater had 4 pubs, now they only have 3, they amalgamated a couple. It's not as though there aren't off campus pubs close either. Depending on where you live, you can't spit without hitting a place to buy a cheap pint. However, our favourite cheesy fry and beer place burned down a few years ago.
    omg this makes my day with the mention of University of Guelph. For some reason I got on their mailing list in HS and so my parents and I would joke about me going there and turning into an icicle. Of course now that I map it to see where it is, it isn't up in northern Canada like I thought oops
  • I went to UConn and the school property surrounds some other private businesses.  There were at least 4 bars within walking distance to the main campus area and one packie was in walking distance as well.   That one had ridiculous prices and was known for letting you buy Dubra with a fake.    The other packie down the street was far more reputable and had a decent selection of plenty of things. 

    But because the school's undergrad population was larger than some of the local towns, I can't imagine how they'd police the hard alcohol consumption unless it was simply for a school sanctioned event like a frat party.   You're still going to get jungle juice and plenty of other crappy drinks made with grain or cheap vodka and punch.


  • TrixieJessTrixieJess member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2016
    kvruns said:

    The University of Guelph (where an ex and another good friend went) has 22 bars on campus. My Alma Mater had 4 pubs, now they only have 3, they amalgamated a couple. It's not as though there aren't off campus pubs close either. Depending on where you live, you can't spit without hitting a place to buy a cheap pint. However, our favourite cheesy fry and beer place burned down a few years ago.
    omg this makes my day with the mention of University of Guelph. For some reason I got on their mailing list in HS and so my parents and I would joke about me going there and turning into an icicle. Of course now that I map it to see where it is, it isn't up in northern Canada like I thought oops
    LOL, It's where you go if you want to be a vet or do something with mass agriculture. Or party. I think it's toned down it's party rep since the late 90s.

    ETA: It is in the snow belt, so there's that. 
  • banana468 said:
    I went to UConn and the school property surrounds some other private businesses.  There were at least 4 bars within walking distance to the main campus area and one packie was in walking distance as well.   That one had ridiculous prices and was known for letting you buy Dubra with a fake.    The other packie down the street was far more reputable and had a decent selection of plenty of things. 

    But because the school's undergrad population was larger than some of the local towns, I can't imagine how they'd police the hard alcohol consumption unless it was simply for a school sanctioned event like a frat party.   You're still going to get jungle juice and plenty of other crappy drinks made with grain or cheap vodka and punch.


    I have never heard this term before.  I'm assuming from the content this is a regional term for a liquor store?  And/or a convenience store that sells liquor?

    Down in NOLA we call that a "corner store", pronounced "cornuh".  I'm sure a lot of places call it that, though perhaps not dropping the last r.  A typically small, mom/pop neighborhood place that sells a variety of items...but people are usually referring to beer.

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