Stanford University updated its alcohol policy for undergraduates before the 2016 fall term, prohibiting hard alcohol from on-campus parties, according to a press release.
The ban, which exempts parties hosted by student organisations as well as residences with 100% graduate students, means students cannot consume mixed drinks at on-campus parties, while shots are prohibited campus-wide, regardless of school affiliation or age.
“The policy, which is effective immediately, is an outgrowth of dialogue that has been taking place among students, faculty and staff since March, when President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy wrote to students and called on the community to generate solutions that meaningfully change the campus culture around alcohol,” the release stated.
Stanford’s new policy, however, still allows for undergraduates of legal age to posses and consume hard alcohol in their rooms. The school, however, has placed a blanket ban on any liquor bottles 750 milliliters or more, meaning students can buy “pint” sizes or smaller of hard liquor.
In the release Ralph Castro, director of Stanford’s Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE), discussed the thought behind this change. He explained:
“Only select retailers sell hard alcohol containers smaller in volume than 750 mL. Therefore, the outlet density of establishments that sell hard alcohol around campus will be greatly reduced. Also, the costs associated with purchasing smaller containers of hard alcohol are higher than the cost per volume of larger containers, which may serve as a deterrent.”
The policy change came despite campus opposition. Last Spring in a campus-wide referendum 91% of voters opposed a ban on hard alcohol, The Stanford Daily reported.
In March, Stanford’s president and provost wrote a note to the Stanford community which confronted the culture on campus surrounding alcohol and noted its contribution to sexual assaults.
“Alcohol, and particularly hard alcohol, is implicated in a variety of problems that continue to be present in the Stanford community,” it stated. “These include alcohol poisoning, sexual assault and relationship violence, organizational conduct problems, and academic problems.”
The note came amid a high-profile sexual assault trial for Brock Turner, a former Stanford student and star swimmer, who was convicted of three charges
of sexually assault of an unconscious woman outside of a fraternity house.
Turner, who was sentenced to six months in a county jail and three years’ probation, partly blamed Stanford’s “party culture” in a sentencing note to the judge. He wrote:
“I wake up having dreamt of these horrific events that I have caused. I am completely consumed by my poor judgment and ill thought actions …. I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behaviour that I briefly experienced in my four months at school.”
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