ODSA sponsors alcohol forumBy Lisa Doh
Nearly 100 people attended an alcohol forum Wednesday sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs (ODSA). They discussed policies concerning dry rush and guidelines for parties proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Alcohol.
Representatives of the Ad Hoc Committee on Alcohol, the InterFraternity Conference (IFC), the Dormitory Council, the Student Center Committee, Campus Police and the Committee on Student Affairs attended.
Dean for Student Affairs Shirley M. McBay and Associate Dean for Student Affairs Robert A. Sherwood, as well as students from various fraternities and dormitories, also attended.
The meeting intended to elicit a wide range of views that students had. Their views regarded the 1 am closing of all parties and a dry rush during the initial days of Residence/Orientation Week. This dry rush would prohibit alcohol consumption in all common areas while freshmen are being recruited.
Barbara M. Fienman, campus activities director, summarized the 14 letters McBay received. Fienman said there is not a very strong opposition to the bartending seminars, event planning, and reduction of advertisement on other campuses. Most agitation is generated by the dry rush and the 1 am closing.
"We need to do what is best for the freshmen," Sherwood said. "By enforcing a policy that would not make alcohol so readily available, we can alleviate the concerns of parents, reduce the chance of becoming involved in liability suits, and most importantly, protect the safety of our students."
John Ashley '85, president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, said that at a recent gathering, 20 of 25 fraternities voted in favor of a semi-dry rush.
He declared that the administration was in no position to impose issues upon fraternities. The absence of alcohol would project artificial images of the fraternities, he added.
Many of the students thought the committee's proposal of a dry rush infringed upon the independence of the fraternity system. Students said that the proposal reflected a direct attack upon parties at MIT in general.
"We understand the position that MIT is in and recognize that it is trying to be responsive to this issue," said Lorenzo Flores '85, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon. "But this school is setting a precedent by getting involved in its social life. If the policy passed attempts to regulate social functions in any way, it will not be taken well and will meet with much resistance."
McBay said she hopes to use the feedback she obtained at the discussion to establish a policy which reflects the views of the students.
According to Dean Sherwood, the National Fraternity had already passed a dry rush proposal, making MIT the only chapter to serve alcohol during
Dormitory residents, however, who would not be too greatly affected by the proposal, supported the concept of a dry rush.