The FRIENDS Initiative submitted proposed revisions to the university’s alcohol policy to Interim Vice President Todd Olson on Aug. 1. The proposal included reduced penalties for minor violations and the ending of a “dry dorm” policy.

Olson agreed last week to submit the report to the university’s Disciplinary Review Committee, a standing committee that evaluates different discipline policies as directed by the vice president for student affairs.

The FRIENDS Alcohol Policy Team’s proposal aims to enhance and unite the campus social environment by creating a safer atmosphere for student alcohol use while remaining consistent with the laws of the federal government and of the District of Columbia.

“People on the team had heard consistently from students that they find it difficult to socialize inside the Healy Gates,” Mike Glick (COL ’05), one of the team’s co-chairs, said. “The administrative policies regarding alcohol use are unclear and confusing and ultimately our alcohol monitoring system led to a disrespectful environment for students witness to [Department of Public Safety] officers and their control methods.”

The team proposed that designation of “alcohol-free residential housing” (dry dorms vs. wet dorms) be eliminated, as students who are not of legal drinking age are already bound by the law not to drink and an additional designation is repetitive.

“Drinking laws that apply elsewhere in the city, specifically the legal drinking age of 21, are also in effect here on campus, and we should not have repetitive titles, as students are aware of the rules,” William Daddio, sociology professor and the team’s faculty chair, said.

The proposal also suggests that the university eliminate disciplinary penalties for students found in the presence of alcohol or of containers that once possessed alcohol.

FRIENDS also proposes a “party engagement group,” or PEG, comprised of graduate students or staff members, which will provide an alternative to DPS for addressing non-emergency issues regarding parties. In situations where problems persist, the PEG will be responsible for contacting DPS.

“Ideally our proposition for a party engagement [and] monitoring group will allow DPS to shift into more of a protective position, and less of a student policing figure,” Daddio said.

PEG would monitor non-emergency situations and advise students in order to avoid personal harm and community disturbance.

FRIENDS has also proposed to permit more opportunities and greater freedom for club sponsored parties, as well as additional areas for student gatherings, such as the Alumni Square courtyard, the Village A lower patios, the Henle courtyard and the Southwest Quad courtyard.

“We are aiming to create more options for student parties on campus, like the Boston Area Club events, where students can have a good time and have registered parties,” Katie Boogaard (COL ’04), another one of the team’s co-chairs, said. “Having these options will promote student ownership and encourage people to respect the area where they are living.”

FRIENDS will begin facilitating student dialogues and open discussions regarding their proposal for alcohol policy change later this month.

“During these public dialogues we will be seeking opinions from the student body, whether in support of or against the revisions suggested by our proposal. Student participation is crucial,” Boogaard said.

The team began the 18-month review process by seeking out the perspectives of students, faculty and administrators from DPS, the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of University Counsel.

The team also studied alcohol policies at over 20 peer institutions as well as research regarding drinking patterns in the nation at large and on Georgetown’s campus.

Olson said that he would remain receptive to the team’s proposals.

“Alcohol makes it difficult for people to stay on campus. inor violations have carried significant sanctions. So we’d like to strike a balance of obeying the law and making students as comfortable as we could,” Olson said, adding that he did not want to preempt the DRC. The committee will begin reviewing the alcohol policy this semester.

Comprised of students, professors and senior administrators, FRIENDS has teamed up with members of the Georgetown community to launch initiatives such as Georgetown Traditions Day.

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