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New year, new alcohol policy

The Board of Regents passed a new alcohol policy this spring, officially changing Concordia’s status as a dry campus to a wet campus. While federal and state laws still apply while on school property, students who are at least 21 are now allowed to drink within already determined spaces on campus, but with regulations.

Marah Evans, the building manager of Bogstad East, pointed out that the types of alcohol allowed on campus are only beer or wine: no hard alcohol, which is the same policy that faculty and staff must abide to at their own events on campus. Students can easily locate the new policy in the student handbook or on Concordia’s website.

Evans also stressed the importance of understanding the stipulations coming along with the new policy.

“There are a lot of details within the policy as to how you go about dealing with alcohol if you have roommates who are under 21, so that’s stuff people should look up and read so that they understand what’s going on,” Evans said. “Moorhead has a Social Host policy; that’s very important for students not to break.”

According to the Alcohol policy, if a minor lives in an apartment where the other occupants are of legal drinking age, any of-age students can drink in front of the minor. But, if a guest comes over and a minor is present, no one is allowed to drink, even if the guest is of age. If the minor leaves, then the 21+ students are allowed to drink.

According to a Concordian article in 2010, the Social Host policy fines the hosts of parties who give alcohol to minors. The fine is $185 dollars per host.

Other details included in the policy are no bottles exceeding 1.5 liters allowed; no kegs, beer bongs, or beer pong tables are allowed and alcohol containers are not to be displayed in windows. Additionally, any roommates who are under 21 still need to fill out an alcohol permit to allow any of-age roommates to possess and consume alcohol within their apartment.

Assistant RA Sara Johnson said the old dry policy will be implicated in the traditional dorms.

“The policy is still the same for dorms like Livedalen,” Johnson said.

Both Evans and Nicky Crane, director’s assistant of Hallett Hall, served as student and Residence Life representations on the Alcohol Policy Committee for a number of weeks.

“We got to work with some of the professional staff at Residence Life, the Director of Residence Life, as well as some other student staff and some residents of the halls. It was good to be able to collaborate and figure out what’s best, not only for the students, but also for the college,” Crane said.

The Alcohol Policy Committee worked closely with risk management to figure out how changes in Concordia’s alcohol policy could affect insurance policies in the future. A draft was then made and sent to the Board of Regents.

Residence Life is also introducing a new policy called ‘Duty Round’ regarding the now necessary heightened presence of Residence Assistants in the apartment buildings.

“There’s going to be more presence in the apartments than last semester,” Crane said. “They do that in the traditional halls every night, twice a night. Basically, it’s just for extra backup to make sure everybody’s safe. It’s going to be very similar to the traditional halls, just as an extra precaution.”

Many are excited that the new policy is evidence of a new wave of legislation being passed at Concordia, evidence of the institution embracing the voices of the students and the changing times that we live in. Bogstad resident Kali Regenik is happy about the change.

“I think it’s great that Concordia has actually put a new alcohol policy in place,” Regenik said. “Statistics show that less binge drinking happens when campuses are wet campuses. People also have less fear about it as well.”

Crane hopes students obtain healthier habits since they’ll have more responsibility with the new policy.

“Hopefully the students will feel more respected, more trusted in general, now that they’re allowed to have alcohol on campus,” Crane said. “It’ll help us in educating residents on what safe drinking looks like.”

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