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Alcohol policy released - ILGs must register parties; cash bars not required

By Reuven M. Lerner

Aside from requiring independent living groups to register open parties and allowing dormitories to serve alcohol without a cash bar, the new Institute alcohol policy, released last week by the dean's office, is substantially unchanged from its predecessor.

None of the housemasters, dormitory presidents or Undergraduate Association officers contacted last night were sure when the new policy will take effect, or even if it has taken effect already. However, they said, the policy is almost identical with a draft that has been circulating among housemasters since late August.

Both the draft and final versions of the policy were written by Associate Dean for Residence and Campus Activities James R. Tewhey, who was unavailable for comment yesterday. These drafts were partly based on reactions by the administration, housemasters and UA Alcohol Policy Committee to earlier versions.

Although the policy will not require ILGs to register parties with the InterFraternity Council until the new policy takes effect, IFC President Holly L. Simpson '92 said the IFC had ratified the new rules on Oct. 2, and that all parties since Oct. 11 have been registered. Houses which do not register parties are subject to $25, $50 and $100 fines for the first three offenses, respectively. The third offense brings with it the potential for other sanctions, Simpson said.

The system "seems to be working pretty well," she said. But, she added, it is difficult to judge its success after so short a time.

Cash bars no longer required

The other major change in the alcohol policy allows dormitories to serve alcohol without a cash bar, reflecting a change in administration thinking.

"The law requires that if you sell alcohol, you have to have a license. MIT required that all student events do both," said UA Vice President J. Paul Kirby '92.

Jay M. Goodliffe '92, president of MacGregor House, thought the change reflected the reality of the situation. "People weren't doing cash bars just because it was inconvenient and didn't feel like charging people. As far as practice goes, I don't think there is any real change," he said.

The cash bar policy was meant to limit consumption, UA Vice President J. Paul Kirby '92 said. "The theory supposedly was that it would deter consumption, that if you had to go through all this extra hassle then these naughty children wouldn't have parties," he said.

While satisfied with the new regulations, Baker House Housemaster William B. Watson said they were rules, rather than a full policy. "A policy on alcohol use would have to include education, ways in which people would be made aware of the dangers of alcohol, and adequate training for people who are going to serve alcohol," he said.