Random Hall Votes No Spending on AlcoholBy A. Arif Husain
Residents of Random Hall recently passed a motion to stop spending part of the house tax on alcoholic beverages for house activities. The motion, approved by a 21-9 vote, has sparked controversy among residents, according to House President Erika K. Schutte '95.
The new policy resulted from a rising concern among some of the dorm's 86 residents about spending the house tax on alcohol. Close to ten percent of each resident's annual $70 house tax has been spent on purchasing alcohol for house parties, Schutte said.
Some residents were uncomfortable with the alcohol consumption at house parties, Schutte said. As a result, a motion was presented to the House Committee to place a cap on such spending.
But Random Hall's Undergraduate Association Representative Brian J. Young '96 proposed another motion to stop the spending on alcohol, instead of just a spending limit.
"I didn't want it to be a dividing issue," Young said, "but I don't like the fact that my money is going to buy alcohol." He said that he objected to paying for something that he disagrees with. Several other residents also support his views, and avoid house activities because of alcohol use, Young said.
"Most people don't drink here," Tichomir G. Tenev '95, a supporter of the motion, said. "In my opinion the majority here are for not buying alcohol."
Schutte presented Young's motion at a house election meeting last week because of the prior discussion about a spending cap. Also, she hoped to resolve the issue before the budget meeting next week.
"I figured that the spending cap was a more dominant issue than completely doing away with spending on alcohol," Schutte said.
After 30 minutes of debate on Young's motion, his motion was passed without any amendments.
"Basically it was an issue of how many people drink, and whether the house budget should pay for it," resident Michele L. Matthews '95 said.
Opponents of the motion argue that it should have been publicized before the meeting so that more people would have attended the meeting, which might have defeated the motion.
Matthews said that most residents don't regularly attend house meetings, and that the size of the last meeting's voting body was typical.
"Things that effect the entire dorm and motions that have been brought to the Executive Committee are supposed to be publicized. For the most part, they have been publicized in the past through posters on entrance doors in the dorm," Schutte said.
Several residents also complained that the issue should have been left for the already-scheduled budget meeting, instead of last week's election meeting. Furthermore, the motion was raised towards the end of the meeting, after many people, including the newly-elected social committee chair, left.
Social chair Dean L. Franck '95, who attended the meeting but left before the motion was presented, plans to run the parties exactly the same as they have been run, with alcohol purchased privately.
Since the motion only pertains to house funding of alcohol, students are free to bring their own supply.
"I am not happy with the outcome personally," Schutte said, "but as president I will accept the decision of the house."
A second discussion of the motion will be held next week, but a two-thirds majority vote will be required to overturn the approved motion.