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

Play It Safe, Ban Kegs On Hilltop

So Georgetown is trying to ban kegs on campus. The student body is up in arms and even my fellow alumni are contacting me in outrage. To many people’s surprise, I am 100 percent in support of a full keg ban. I would like to state outright that I am not going to try and be hypocritical in this piece by bashing heavy alcohol consumption or even disorderly drunkenness. I am simply going to offer a point of view that some students and alumni have yet to consider. Please, hear me out.

Recently a good friend of mine wrote to me, “[Kegs] are a college tradition! Imagine if we never had any Henle or Village B parties, never got drunk on the rooftops, etc. It is kind of a part of campus culture if you ask me.”

Through comments like my friend’s, I have come to understand that people’s main concern regarding the institution of a keg ban is that it will decrease the quantity and the quality of the parties at Georgetown. If this truly is the concern that is causing the student body’s hesitation – if not complete unwillingness – to consider a keg ban, it should not be.

Honestly, please stop and think clearly about it for a moment. What about disallowing kegs would cause Georgetown students to party any less? “No kegs” does not mean “no parties.” Cans and bottles are still readily available and easier to clean up. Face it – no one likes carrying a keg up to the rooftops anyway. In reality, a keg ban will probably just result in all campus parties drinking from cans instead of kegs full of the same favorite cheap beer.

What about other schools? Penn State, where a keg ban has been the norm for fraternities, is still one of the biggest party schools in the nation? Or what about Harvard, where the keg ban policy was allegedly overturned because it actually increased student drinking?

What about our own example? Georgetown banned kegs at homecoming tailgates in 1999, but I sincerely doubt anyone would argue that this decreased the fun or size of subsequent tailgate parties.

Another issue being discussed in the context of the potential keg ban is town-gown relations. Some argue that an on-campus keg ban would move parties off campus rather than simply encouraging the hosts of on-campus parties to buy bottles or cans. No evidence to support this claim has been presented, however.

Students will still live on and off campus in the same ratio. So why would this increase off-campus partying? The novelty of partying on campus cannot be simply shifted elsewhere. Secondly, college students are lazy and no one ever wants to walk to Burleith,.

How about the issue of cost? A final argument revolves around the fact that kegs are cheaper than buying cans and bottles and that this new financial “burden” would deter people from having on-campus parties. To this I simply ask, how many of your friends at Georgetown are overly concerned with spending money? Would having to buy bottles or cans instead of kegs really dissuade that many people from playing host to parties on a campus where excessive wealth is almost the norm? By my calculations, the additional cost for buying equivalent amounts of beer in the form of 30-packs of cans instead of a keg is around $20.

So, $20 more dollars, that is the overhead. Not much when divided among four or five roommates. Now let me describe the positives of a keg ban. Yes, they do exist.

I am not anti-binge drinking. I am anti-date-rape. I hope you all share that sentiment. One reason schools and fraternities institute keg bans is to make it harder to put drugs into girls’ drinks; there are creeps out there. It is a lot harder for a creep to put Rohypnol (Roofies) into a bottle or can that is sealed until a girl opens it herself, rather than a wide-mouth Dixie cup poured at a crowded keg. The ease of it is outright frightening. Thus, the issue at hand here is not so much decreasing partying, but rather increasing safety.

I am not claiming that Georgetown has a terrible date-rape problem, but why not be safe rather than sorry? The benefit of preventing date-rape outweighs the costs of prohibiting kegs by a wide margin. The primary reason behind Georgetown’s keg ban seems to be the reduction of binge drinking, and I am sure the university does not want to highlight the fact that date-rape happens on the Hilltop at all, but it does happen.

Why not make crimes like date-rape as difficult to commit as possible and thereby as rare as possible? A keg ban will not deter on campus partying, but hopefully it will deter or prevent much worse incidents from taking place.

In conclusion, before you rush onto Facebook to join the countless anti-keg ban groups that are popping up left and right, I urge you to stop and contemplate the proposal. Is your desire to drink keg beer more important to you than your own and your friends’ safety? Now go shotgun a can of Natty Light instead of going to class, and quit whining.

Vincent J. Bianco graduated from the School of Foreign Service in 2005.

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