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

Alcohol Policy Discussed at Town Hall

Students voiced concerns over the university’s recently adopted alcohol regulations during a town hall meeting in Sellinger Lounge Wednesday evening with university administrators.

During the meeting – which featured Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and Director of Student Conduct Judy Johnson – a number of the approximately 70 students in attendance said the policies overly restrict of-age students’ abilities to freely consume alcohol.

InterHall President Ricky Ashenfelter (MSB ’09) and Vice President of Student Advocacy for InterHall Caitlin Chen (COL ’08) presided over the meeting, which lasted one hour and 40 minutes. The meeting was hosted by InterHall.

Questions directed at Olson covered various topics including keg limits, alcohol paraphernalia, underage drinking and noise disturbances both on and off campus. These issues have, in the past, “definitely led to some student feedback that was negative,” Olson said.

Several students over the age of 21 living in on-campus housing said the new regulations, especially the ban on certain drinking paraphernalia, inhibits their legal consumption of alcohol. One student said the current policies have made him reconsider donating to the university after graduating.

Olson said several factors contributed to the formation of the alcohol policy.

“Universities are always looking for a balancing act when it comes to alcohol policies,” Olson said. “[The alcohol policy] wasn’t one single or a few precipitating events.”

Olson said the administration is concerned about what he described as “a general degradation of life on campus.”

“We do not want this to be a campus that is hostile to student social life,” Olson said.

“The reality is that we’re talking about whether the university can endorse illegal activity. We can’t,” Johnson said when addressing increased Department of Public Safety and Metropolitan Police Department involvement in stopping underage drinking.

The meeting was briefly interrupted when one woman cut in front of several people waiting in line at a microphone, took the microphone and introduced a petition to lower the drinking age. She left upon Ashenfelter’s request.

Paul Biedlingmaier (MSB ’11), who was in attendance, said the meeting was productive.

“It’s a good example of student citizenship in action,” he said.

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