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

GPB Boosts Alcohol Checks

Leaders of the Georgetown Program Board will begin enforcing more strictly policies prohibiting alcohol consumption at group-sponsored events after two reported incidents this month of belligerent behavior of intoxicated students at the group’s programs.

Hannah Pitts (COL ’09), GPB’s chair for off-campus events, said that under the new enforcement policies, which take effect immediately, all in attendance are expected to refrain from bringing alcohol into or consuming alcohol at the events and to respect the authority of GPB members. Furthermore, she said, violating these rules or appearing visibly intoxicated could result in a student’s removal from the event.

“I’ve always sort of had the expectation that people would act with respect … but it seems that recently that expectation needs to be more clearly stated,” Pitts said. “These aren’t necessarily new policies, but it’s a new policy for us to be more explicit with what we expect.”

The announcement was made about a week after two GPB events – the Coolio concert on Oct. 19 in O’Donovan Hall and a trip the following day to Markoff’s Haunted Forest – were marred by rowdy student behavior.

Assistant Director of Student Programs Tanesha Stewart, who runs the university’s late-night programming initiative What’s After Dark, said of the Coolio event, which was co-sponsored by What’s After Dark, “There were definitely students who brought alcohol into the venue, which was completely inappropriate.”

GPB Chair Elsa Heffernan (COL ’08) said that at one point during the concert, she asked several students either drinking or smoking cigarettes in the kitchen to leave that area.

“Instead of just leaving, they looked at me like I was speaking a different language,” she said. “Once I got finally got them out, one of them came up and started grinding with me. If we had had these rules in place, I could’ve kicked them out, but I didn’t really feel like I could’ve.”

At the haunted forest trip, said Pitts, there was a group of intoxicated students who were “pretty obnoxious.”

Heffernan said some students’ behavior at events this year has been worse than in previous years.

“I was really disappointed to see this happen at Georgetown, because I think it’s a big change from what I’ve seen in my past four years,” said Heffernan. “I think that campus event culture has changed a little bit, maybe having to do with the alcohol policies.”

Heffernan said that attendance at GPB events has greatly increased compared to past years, and a more eclectic group of students have participated.

Erika Cohen-Derr, director of student programs, said approximately 1,200 Georgetown students attended the Coolio concert.

Angela Short (COL ’09), GPB’s vice-chair, said that anyone who buys a ticket to a GPB event would be informed of the new policy, and the policy would be posted at larger events.

“It’s really unfortunate that we have to be so explicit,” Short said. “This kind of behavior could potentially discourage other people from coming to our events in the future, and we really don’t want to see that.”

Heffernan said she did not expect attendance to be affected by the new policy.

Stewart and GPB board members said students must consider the effects their actions will have on the university’s image.

“That’s what the administration and the university [are] trying to teach students: It’s fine to drink, but you have to think about your behavior … and how that reflects on yourself as a student and … on the university as well,” Stewart said.

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