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Students responded positively to summer alcohol ban reversal

Students responded positively to the summer 2013 reversal of the hard alcohol ban implemented in summer 2012. The campus instead implemented the normal year-round Stanford University Student Alcohol Policy.

The University decided to return to the regular-year alcohol policy after administrators received negative feedback from the community about 2012’s pilot ban. The pilot policy had mandated that beverages with an alcoholic content above 20 percent would not be allowed in any dorms, even in the possession of students over the legal drinking age of 21.

One student, who spent both of the last two summers on campus, praised the lifting of the ban.

“I thought the ban last summer was silly, because students still drank all kinds of alcohol. This year, it was much more open and actually felt safer,” said the junior, who chose to remain anonymous.

A primary justification for the ban was that Stanford hosts many students and athletes—many still attending high school—not otherwise affiliated with the University.

Another student present on campus in summer 2012 acknowledged the administrative goal but found the ban to produce a negative effect.

“I respect the University trying to enforce a stricter alcohol policy during the summer to have a safer and healthier environment around the summer camps. However, the policy was difficult to enforce and many ignored it,” said the student, who also chose to remain anonymous.

That student also felt that the ban caused trust issues between residents and RAs, a strong contrast to the usual open relationships between the two roles.

“A school that trusts students during the academic year with an honor code and an open-door policy should extend that trust throughout the summer,” he added.

In a previous Daily interview, Ralph Castro, director of the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE), agreed that consistency throughout the year is important. Jarreau Bowen, assistant director of OAPE, explained that the fact that so many of Stanford’s summer residents are not actual Stanford students means that OAPE has limited say in the summer alcohol policy, but the office did not know of any major alcohol issues over the summer and does not plan to reimplement the ban in future summers.

Assistant Dean and Director of Summer Session Jess Matthews was unavailable for comment.

Contact Baker Tilney at [email protected]

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