Brown Students Are Worried The School's Drastic Alcohol Prohibition Policy Could Backfire

Brown University has effectively banned alcohol from fraternity parties, announcing policies this week barring alcohol from being served at any registered event in the school’s residence halls, student newspaper The Brown Daily Herald reports.

The alcohol ban stems from alleged sexual misconduct at two campus fraternities last semester, both of which were hosting unregistered events, according to an email sent to Brown students on Monday. Calling the policies “prohibition,” students seem split on their effectiveness according to The Daily Herald. Some argue that they’re a step in the right direction, while others believe the changes are an unnecessary move that won’t combat student sexual assault.

“The email signals a shift in policy that will shake up campus life, but its effects may be most immediately apparent on Wriston Quad [where Brown’s fraternities are],” The Daily Herald reports. Brown’s fraternities do not have their own houses, and instead have designated space inside of the campus’ residence halls.

In an editorial titled “Will Prohibition work at Brown?,” The Daily Herald highlights the potential danger of this plan, noting, “It will likely drive drinking underground, leading people to pre-game parties and get drunk quickly. It could also lead to a jump in reckless drinking and sexual assaults off-campus, which are much harder to police and prevent.”

Students seem to agree that the parties will just move off-campus, where they are harder for the university to regulate. “My well-being and my ability to spend time with my friends will not be impacted, and I think a lot of students will be able to say that,” one Brown senior told the student newspaper.

Another senior compared the new social scene to what happens over the summer.

“There are no frats during the summer, so what happens? People party at houses,” he told The Daily Herald. “If we’re going to party, we’re going to party.”

We have reached out to Brown University for more information about these policy changes and why they were implemented. We will updated with any statement we receive.

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