Stanford makes changes to student alcohol policy

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When Stanford students arrive this fall, they'll face a new alcohol policy. It's one that some critics say puts them more at risk. (KGO-TV)

When students arrive at Stanford University, they'll be learning about a new alcohol policy -- no hard alcohol will be allowed at on-campus parties. Some critics say this only puts students more at risk.

With this new policy, Stanford officials are focusing on hard alcohol because of the potential for binge drinking. They're trying to limit high risk behavior.
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The university is quiet now; summer school is out and the fall semester doesn't start for another five weeks.

But when students arrive, they'll know about the change in the alcohol policy on campus.

The vice provost for student affairs sent a letter, Monday to all new and returning undergraduates.

The new policy bans hard alcohol at on-campus parties, with the exception of parties for graduate students. Beer and wine are the only alcoholic beverages undergraduates can serve at parties on-campus.

And high-volume distilled liquor containers, basically the big bottles of hard alcohol, are banned for all students in undergraduate housing.

The conversation about alcohol use on campus started in March when Stanford's president and provost asked the community for solutions to change the culture around drinking in the midst of the high profile sexual assault case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner.

In a letter to the court, Turner said his life was shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior. He was sentenced to six months in jail.

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber has been an outspoken critic of the handling of the case and sentencing of Turner.
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She feels this policy is just going to push students to drink hard alcohol in private rooms, potentially increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning and sexual assault.

"Creating policies that actually pushing students to drink in private rooms with doors closed, maybe aggressively pre-gaming and trying to drink as much alcohol as quickly as they can in private rooms, it actually creates a situation of enhanced danger," she said.

According to the policy, if a student breaks the rules they could face administrative action. If the problem is ongoing, they could be kicked out of university housing.

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