Senate sends alcohol policy proposal to administration for approval
Thomas Deane, Staff Writer
February 10, 2012
Filed under News
Last semester, Guilford students hoped to put on an event in which local beer would be served, but at the last minute were told they couldn’t offer the beer. At a different on-campus event, alumni were served alcohol.
The issue of equality and consistency regarding Guilford’s alcohol policies has recently caused a stir amongst students. This was evident at the two aforementioned events last semester: Meadow Fed Harvest Dinner and the President’s Gala.
Meadow Fed was an event put together by students who were hoping to share local food as well as local beer. The event initially had consent from administration to serve the beer, but that approval was rescinded on the day of the event.
“I was very interested in seeing all the different local beers, not just the commercial beers we’re accustomed to seeing,” said junior Chase Clausen. “It would have been awesome to have the cool local beers.”
Conversely, the President’s Gala offered champagne and wine to alumni and prospective donors during a dinner in the cafeteria. Student representatives who attended were told not to engage in drinking, even if they were over 21.
“It shows a lack of trust,” said senior and Community Senate Clerk/President Yahya Alazrak. “It might be appropriate to allow us to drink at events we’re invited to.”
Both events were catered by Meriwether Godsey, which is in charge of all food services at the school.
“We see inconsistencies and we are querying those inconsistencies,” said Alazrak.
Alazrak is working to put in to place a new policy that he sees as a “response to students feeling like the current policy is not consistent.”
The proposed policy, introduced to Community Senate on Feb. 1 and passed on Feb. 8, would clearly define whether Meriwether Godsey has the ability to serve alcohol at on-campus events. This would apply to both events for alumni as well as students who are over 21.
Senior Bennett Christian, one of the lead organizers of Meadow Fed sees a different inequality arising should alcohol be served at student events.
“Because alcohol as we know it is legally limited to 21-year-olds (and over), this would clearly reinforce the inequalities enforced by the law, in which everyone under 21 can’t (drink), and anyone over can,” said Christian in an email. “That’s just a dynamic that could stand to be avoided at events, such as Meadow Fed, as that’s not really the focus of the event.”
The proposed change does not outline whether drinking will be allowed at certain events or not. The proposal is designed to allow the administration to choose, either allowing Meriwether Godsey to serve alcohol to all or to none, so long as the policy is consistent.
Students are split on whether they would rather see drinking to be allowed for everyone or for no one. However, most are in favor of a consistent policy, one way or the other.
“In all reality, it does not matter to me,” said first-year Casey Murdock. “If the new policy allows drinking amongst of-age students at school-sponsored events, or if it does not, that’s fine. There just needs to be a consistent rule for everyone.”
If the proposal is approved by the administration, allowing 21-year-old students to drink at certain campus events, some see potential problems that could arise.
Director of Student Judicial Affairs Sandy Bowles acknowledges that the student handbook does not allow for openly consuming alcohol on campus. Bowles, who is in favor of the new proposal, notes one main problem would arise should drinking be allowed.
“Drinking at these events would be (in direct violation of) public display,” said Bowles. “If we permit drinking in that setting, how would that be any different than a party?”
Since the student handbook does not allow for openly consuming alcohol, Bowles stresses there would also need to be a proposal to change the handbook. To her, consistency in the community is the main goal for this proposal.
With the proposal passed by Senate, it now awaits approval from the administration.