Stanford institutes new controversial alcohol policy for students

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Stanford institutes new controversial alcohol policy for students
Stanford university's newly unveiled policy will place heavy restrictions on hard alcohol. The change is meant to curb consumption, but some students and staff are worried about the potential for unintended consequences.

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- It's the new alcohol policy at Stanford University that many students disagree with.

"Kids are going to drink, we're in college. It's going to happen regardless," said Doris Rodriguez, a freshman.

Hard alcohol has been banned from on-campus parties with the exception of events for graduate students and for those over 21, who still live in undergraduate housing. And, liquor is now limited to bottles smaller than 750 ml - also known as a fifth.

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Some are worried that more students will focus on protecting themselves, rather than assisting a friend in need.

"You have all of this rushing through your head, when instead you should be thinking, hey this could is kid in trouble, he needs help, let me go to an adult," explained Rodriguez.

And that's very concerning to Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber. She's been an outspoken critic of the handling of the Brock Turner case in which the former Stanford swimmer was sentenced to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman on campus. Turner previously blamed it on the alcohol.

"I think this rule is going to have some unintended consequences, not just in the area of sexual assault, but also in the area of alcohol poisoning, and alcohol-related injuries," she said.

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Supporters of the policy believe it's a step in the right direction. Stanford's Vice Provost for Student Affairs says, "We must create a campus community that allows for alcohol to be a part of the social lives of some of our students, but not to define the social and communal lives of all of our students."

Students who repeatedly disobey the rules could be subject to removal from university housing.