Tuesday, December 18, 2007
RSO Alchol Policy.
Renee Alfano of the Student Organization Office presented on the proposals for a modified RSO alcohol policy. The goal is to increase safety while lowering liability for the individual leaders of the organizations, and new broad-based committee will submit recommendations to the Committee on Student Organizations which will then submit the policy to the Dean of Students and ultimately the Chancellor's Office. Renee stressed that the changes are not "about cutting out alcohol at [student org] events" but rather about proactivity. I want to be as thorough about this part of the meeting as possible, because I know there are a lot of questions and possibly misconceptions about it. Please spread the word!
A major factor in the new proposed policy is the definition of "event." A disclaimer of "this is not an official event" on an official e-mail to the official student org's listserv does not count as abiding by the policy. Below are some questions that may be asked to determine if a gathering of students in a student org is an event or not (and thus required to abide by the alcohol policy or not):
- Was the event publicized in any fashion with the student group's name?
- Were official lines of communication used to promote/publicize the event?
- Was the event announced at meetings as a part of an official order of business?
- Were organizational finances used to support the event?
- Did the leadership of the organization act in an official organizational capacity to promote/publicize the event?
- Was the event held in reserved University facilities?
- Were all members of the organization invited to the event regardless of age?
1. Student groups that serve or permit possession of alcoholic beverages at student group functions, on or off campus, may be disciplined if violations of alcoholic beverage laws or of university regulations occur.
2. It is the responsibility of the student group to assign people in the group to create a system to identify and confront underage drinking, security issues, and over intoxication (If the event is at a 3rd party vendor, the group must work with the establishment to insure [sic] systems are in place.
3. Cup parties or anything similar are not allowed at unlicensed facilities.
4. Advertising on campus or advertising using University resources may not include specific reference to alcohol as a part of the event. References to alcohol are prohibited in either printed word or graphic image. [my note: This includes such phrases as "cash bar" and "18 to enter, 21 to drink." This particular item is being redefined for clarity and consistency.]
Proposed additional policies: draft
5. The use of "common containers of beer" (ie: kegs, party balls, etc.) may not be used except at third part vendors or the organization has the insurance necessary to allow the use of common containers of beer.
6. No bulk collective home-made drinks allowed.
7. Events, including general or executive board meetings may occur at a liquor licensed establishment only if everyone is 21 years of age or older or the establishment is listed as a Restaurant or Under 21 (CV) licensed establishment.
8. Any events or activities where consumption of alcohol at the event is the purpose, consequence, or reward of the activity are prohibited. [my note: drinking games]
9. Reasonable quantities of non-salty snacks relative to the size of your group should be provided.
10. Non-alcoholic beverages (besides water) should be available and be less expensive than alocholic beverages and comparable in size. Non-alcoholic beverages should be provided at all times that alcohol is served.
11. It is recommended that no consumption of alcoholic beverages at general or executive board meetings occur unless everyone is 21 years of age or older.
Parental Involvement (Presentation by Associate Dean Kevin Helmkamp)
- FERPA was amended in 2005 to allow for the reporting of certain incidents (alcohol, drugs, sexual assault) to parents without breaking the privacy act.
- the University will contact parents when one or more of the following occurs:
- underage students are transported to detox for alcohol and drugs (the majority of parental notifications)
- suicide attempts or thoughts that present a danger to self, others, or a disruption of the living environment (particularly in University Housing) -- this must be actual behavior, not mental illness
- students are placed on probation for drug/alcohol concerns and before they are suspended
- students pose a risk to the health and safety of themselves and/or others
- either UW Housing ResLife staff or the Assistant Deans of Students/ SAJA can make contact with parents
- students are encouraged to make the initial contact with parents
- the highest number of detox transports up to this date EVER has been in this semester
- the University is hesitant to mandate counseling (but may choose to require alcohol assessments and education)
"I'm tired of it [the alcohol problem], but I still have to be an educator." - Kevin Helmkamp, explaining why harsh discipline is not always the best answer.
Listening Sessions (the Dean's office talking to groups on campus)
- Students with disabilities: would like to see more accomodations for an increased ability to participate in extracurriculars and also more education for RSOs in how to put on accessible events (and the funds to do so)
- Veterans: generally feel welcome on campus but also desire to talk about their experience and connect socially
- Seg Fee forum: main questions were "Why now?" and "What are the implications" of the change
- future listening sessions may include athletes, transfer students, nontraditional/returning students, etc.
If you have any questions about the drafted alcohol policy (which I have posted in full here), please contact Renee Alfano at the SOO. Any other questions, feel free to ask them here.
The Associated Students of Madison Shared Governance Committee Blog serves as a space for shared governance appointees and the UW-Madison student body to communicate on issues relating to shared governance. As part of their responsibilities as student representatives, appointees will post a report following each meeting attended.