An Editorial on the Banning of Kegs in Dorms

September 19, 1994

To the Trustees:

As representatives of the student body, we’re writing to express our concerns over a decision that was recently made regarding student life at Trinity. On August 28, the day before upperclass students returned, the Dean of Students Office banned kegs in all dorms. This came as a shock to both students who were arriving on campus this fall, and students who had been on campus all summer. There was knowledge that kegs in dorms would be an issue, but Dean Peters made it clear to the Student Government Association on February 9, 1994 that there would only be a decision made on kegs with student input, and a decision would not be mandated “from above.” Unfortunately, these promises were not maintained. The student body voiced its opinion in a referendum in March 1994 where 93% opposed banning kegs, and the SGA vote—with only one person dissenting—to oppose a ban on kegs in dorms. This issue does not standalone, the administration has consistently ignored the students’ voice on issues, including Faculty tenure, Mather renovations, parking, and the difficulty registering for classes. As student leaders we feel betrayed. Besides our objections to the manner in which this decision was made, we have numerous reservations with the actual policy. We are afraid that the rule focuses on the keg as being the problem instead of combating the behavior that is detrimental to the residential communities of Trinity. Banning kegs will not reduce the amount of inappropriate behavior or dormitory damage, as alcohol consumption will not decrease. Students will simply find other, and possibly more harmful activities. If the goal is to promote respect for others and a sense of community living, then efforts should be redirected towards eliminating irresponsible drinking. We believe that there are alternative means of resolving the problems at hand, but our efforts in the past have fallen on deaf ears. We, as students, want the opportunity to make changes which effect Student Life. For the aforementioned reasons, we reject this policy, and request suspension of this rule while we formulate an alternate solution. As Dean of Students David Winer has stated concerning an alcohol policy, regulations and restrictions which are student initiated are stronger than ones which are simply handed down from the administration. We have set a deadline for coming up with our alternative plan. We will be prepared to present our solution at the October 22 Trustee meeting. Thank you for time and consideration.

Respectfully,

Elizabeth Platt

President, SGA

Jonathan Epstein

Exec. Vice-President, SGA

James Barr

Editor, The Tripod

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