Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GUSA Challenges Keg Rules

The GUSA senate unanimously passed a resolution Sunday calling for an end to the one-keg limit for on-campus parties and for disciplinary rules and expectations for weekend nights to be applied to socializing on Georgetown Day.
Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said he would consider the proposal.

“It is possible,” Olson said. “I haven’t reached a decision yet, but I will be consulting with student leaders and administrators to reach a decision in the next few days.”

The bill involved collaboration between the Georgetown University Student Association Senate and executive. In the executive’s 40-day plan, released April 4, GUSA President Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) and Vice President Adam Ramadan (SFS ’14) prioritized on-campus social life, in part because of its close relationship to the 2010 Campus Plan agreement, promising to address it before the end of the current academic year.

“Off-campus crackdowns are going to continue to happen. The rules are going to continue to be tightened, and people are going to start feeling it,” Tisa said. “I don’t want students to be arrested, to be put on sanctions, but it’s going to happen because it’s part of the campus plan reality.

“But because of that,” Tisa added, “what we can do is make campus so much easier to socialize and host parties on. If we can make campus the zone where you don’t have to worry about a lot of those things, then students will naturally clot there.”

The keg limit currently in effect was introduced in spring 2007, after a student referendum demonstrated overwhelming opposition to the Disciplinary Review Committee’s fall 2006 suggestion of an outright keg ban. The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E also passed a resolution against the proposed keg ban at the time, fearing that banning kegs on campus would move students more into the Georgetown neighborhood. An earlier keg limit had allowed two kegs per on-campus party.

GUSA Senator Ben Weiss (COL ’15), a sponsor of the bill, agreed that reevaluating these restrictions would align with the goals of the campus plan.

“The way to truly change the way students behave at Georgetown is to make thecampus more receptive to social activity.  It’s a call to rethink the manner in which administrators are trying to implement the Campus Plan,” Weiss said.

The bill sponsors hope that the removal of the keg ban will complement a softened attitude toward student behavior on Georgetown Day, which will take place April 26.

GUSA senators also hope to eliminate miscommunication between the university and students regarding disciplinary policies. Since Georgetown Day is currently approached as a regular weekday, students can sometimes face harsher punishment than they would for similar actions on a Friday or Saturday night.

“There are different regulations, specifically in recognition that it’s Georgetown Day and not ‘Georgetown Evening,’ but students should have the same rights to socialize as it would be on a weekend night on Georgetown Day,” Weiss said.

According to Tisa, Department of Public Safety officers who patrol during the day are different from those who patrol at night, which often results in inconsistent rule enforcement.

“DPS officers who are patrolling during the day are not used to seeing that kind of partying going on that early, so they don’t really know how to react to it and they tend to react really across the board. Some are very lenient while some are very strict. The rules have also traditionally been very confusing. Students don’t know if they can party, if capacity limits and the noise limits are different,”Tisa said. “We’re basically asking for an exception, to apply a weekend night standard to the day.”

Tisa pointed out that eliminating the keg limit and lifting the on-campus socialization restrictions for Georgetown Day would entice students to socialize on campus, decreasing disturbance in the neighborhood next Friday.

“This will reduce the number of students going off campus in the afternoon. Neighbors who are coming home from a week at work on a Friday don’t want to be bothered by hundreds of students walking around intoxicated,” Tisa said.

This marks the second year in a row in which students have sparred with the administration over Georgetown Day regulations. Last year, students responded forcefully to the university’s announcement that it would set up barricades around Copley Lawn, resulting in the abandonment of the policy.

“Georgetown Day is a day that students all enjoy, but there have been instances in which the university has worked in contrast to what students want,” Weiss said.

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