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

DRC Proposal Would Harm Life on Hilltop

We are writing regarding the recent alcohol policy recommendations made by the Disciplinary Review Committee, a university board made up of faculty, staff and some students. Most importantly, we are writing regarding the DRC’s recommendation to Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson that all kegs be banned from campus.

We would like to make clear how GUSA feels about the proposed changes to the alcohol policy, and what we are doing to make sure that student input and advocacy remain strong and indispensable in the decision making process. It is important to understand that Olson has not announced a decision, and has no deadline by which he must make a decision. The need for students to voice their opinions, however, is urgent, and for a simple reason: The more students contribute to the discussion, the more likely it is that the student opinion will be given the most attention in the final decision Olson makes.

Let us be clear on how we feel: We agree with the recommendations not to change the party notification policy and to change the parental notification policy from notification after three offenses to notification after two offenses. We ardently oppose, however, the third recommendation, which calls for a campus-wide keg ban, for the following five reasons.

First, banning kegs would increase students’ dependency on far more dangerous hard alcoholic beverages, which are cheaper and get people drunk faster than a keg.

Second, a keg ban on campus would push large, noisy parties farther off campus, exposing students to the added dangers of higher crime rates, automotive traffic and neighborhood disapproval.

Third, implementing a keg ban would further divide students and administrators. It is absolutely necessary for students and administrators to have a sound relationship because without one, rules would quickly become arbitrary in the eyes of students, and students would quickly become unruly and irresponsible in the eyes of administrators.

Fourth, we have serious doubts about whether or not students will actually adhere to a keg ban policy. So if students don’t follow the policy, then what good is having such a ban in the first place?

Fifth, it is our understanding that this policy is aimed at a very small minority of Georgetown students that abuse alcohol and by doing so violates the Code of Conduct in one of the worst possible ways. Yet the implementation of this policy, successful or not, would alienate a much larger, law-abiding segment of Georgetown students and would fail to change the lifestyles or behaviors of the abusive minority that has already shown disrespect for rules and regulations.

We recognize that alcohol abuse on campus is an issue that must be addressed. It would be disingenuous of us, as we pursue solutions to problems such as sexual assault, to simultaneously ignore the connection between such problems and alcohol abuse. We firmly believe in the importance of offering alternative solutions to this problem, and not just shooting down others’ well-intentioned policy recommendations. We agree with the DRC about the importance of this issue and our collective responsibility, as the Georgetown community, to work to ameliorate it. We disagree fundamentally and respectfully, however, with the DRC’s principal suggestion – the keg ban.

The Student Association was made for moments like these. It is our purpose to transform the needs and desires of students into realities. We feel very deeply that our reasons for opposing the keg ban are in accordance with the thoughts of the majority of our fellow students, as well as their best interests. But in order to do our job most thoroughly and to the best of our ability, we need to know your thoughts, your concerns and your suggestions.

You can help us strengthen the student voice in a number of ways. Visit our Web site at for all the information you could ever want on the issue of alcohol, the proposed changes and our in-depth position paper on strategies to address alcohol abuse. You will also find a link to the “Student Association Discussion Forum”, where you can post thoughts that we will take directly to administrators. Most important, however, is that you attend the Town Hall Meeting for students that we, along with members of the DRC, will hold next Oct. 4 in Sellinger Lounge at 8:45 p.m. to answer your questions and hear your concerns and opinions.

These recommendations are about much more than just alcohol on a college campus. They have to do with the very social fabric by which students at Georgetown weave their individual experiences. It is of the utmost importance that you lend your voice to this debate and follow it closely. We need to address the issue of alcohol abuse on campus, but not by banning kegs.

Twister Murchison is a junior in the School of Foreign Service and president of GUSA. Salik Ishtiaq is a senior in the School of Foreign Service and vice president of GUSA .

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