Update on Alcohol Policy Issues
On Tuesday, March 30, a student demonstration on College Green protested
the ban on alcohol at registered events announced last week in the wake
of an alumnus's death and three other incidents (as reported in The Daily
Pennsylvanian March 29, these were an alcohol poisoning case where the
student was treated and released, and two Liquor Control Board raids on
At the rally, a crowd of Hey Day proportions chanted "Beer, beer"
as speakers from the UA, IFC, the Committee for Tangible Change and other
organizations spoke to aspects of the ban and its adoption. In line with
various statements in D.P. articles and op-ed pieces during the week,
most speakers objected either to the process or to the perceived dangers
of a policy they said would relocate problem drinking to off-campus locations.
That evening, the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse, made up of students,
faculty and staff, held its first meeting. A Provost's Office summary of
the two-hour session said in part:
"The President and the Provost asked the committee to bring conclusions
forward as they are reached so that they can make timely progress on the
"The working group identified a list of problems that contribute
to alcohol misuse. The members quickly agreed that the issue at hand is
alcohol abuse, not alcohol use.
"The group began to search aggressively for alternative solutions
to the temporary ban on alcohol at registered undergraduate parties and
will meet intensively until such solutions are reached. The group expressed
its commitment to meet as frequently and as long as possible to arrive
at a mutually acceptable solution to this and the more complex issue of
alcohol abuse. The working group's next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
April 6 at 6 p.m.
"The group strongly agreed that its individual members need to
immediately consult their constituencies to generate substantive suggestions
on how to help combat alcohol abuse, broadly and to develop alternatives
to the temporary ban on alcohol at registered undergraduate parties, specifically.
Penn students are encouraged to submit their ideas to members of the committee
or to peers@pobox for suggestions,
ideas and recommendations."
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 27, April 6, 1999
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