The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

College retools alcohol policy

By April DeJarlais

Macalester students could return next year to a revamped alcohol policy. Macalester College Student Government proposed an update to the policy last year and began work on it this fall. Dean of Students Jim Hoppe and a committee of students formed a committee and are working on creating new language for the document.

A reworking of the policy has “been a long time coming – it’s disorganized,” committee member Nathan Coppersmith ’12 said.

Plans for the new policy include a clearer and more focused philosophy statement and a narrowing down of the information, in order to be more useful to and cohesive for students.

Residential Life will have a significant stake in any changes made to the college alcohol policy, as residential Assistants are responsible for the day to day enforcement of the policy. It is their responsiblity not only to break up dorm parties causing a disturbance may still be broken up, but also work with residents to prevent future problems.

RAs have the challenge of enforcing a policy that residents may not have read too thoroughly and still being expected to build trust on their floors.

“It’s hard to enforce the policy because we are on a college’s unreasonable to try to stop it altogether,” Dupre RA Harris Grigoropoulos ’11 said.

Students committing violations will be documented regardless of the format of the alcohol policy. Communication between RAs and residents remains an important factor in avoiding problems.

“Talking about consequences [of alcohol use] is still important,” 30 Mac, Bigelow and Wallace Residence Hall Director Michael Klitzke said.

The committee recently presented ideas for the policy at a MCSG meeting, and is planning a student input forum after spring break. The reformatted policy will be debuted next fall.

No changes will be made to the school’s drinking age, since Macalester must continue to adhere to state and national laws. Despite changes, the school’s alcohol policy will not differ much from that of most other schools.

“Alcohol policies are similar from college to college,” Hoppe said.

Macalester will also keep its alcohol instruction program “Alcohol 101.” First years must complete the online program before coming to Macalester, but the school is “always on the lookout for something better than [Alcohol 101],” Hoppe said.

The reformatted alcohol policy is expected to be more accessible and easier to understand for students.

“It’s about making sure the community and all students are safe,” Grigoropoulos said.

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