Penn approves new alcohol pilot program


The Undergraduate Assembly will vote Sunday night on whether to endorse the pilot




The University has approved a new pilot program that will set more relaxed standards for the use of alcohol at on-campus, registered events.

Sunday night, the Undergraduate Assembly will consider a resolution on whether to endorse the recommendations laid out by the Alcohol Policy Review Committee — a group made up of students, administrators and members of the University of Pennsylvania Police Department — in the pilot program.

The APRC has been reviewing the University Alcohol and Drug Policy since August 2011.

In an internal email sent from Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum to Director of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives Julie Lyzinski Nettleton Wednesday afternoon, McCoullum wrote that VPUL had formally signed off on the pilot.

“With VPUL’s endorsement, and that of the Council of Undergraduate Deans, the University, through Provost Vince Price, has approved the recommendation for a practice pilot and has authorized you to proceed with implementation as we have discussed,” McCoullum said in the email.

The main goal of the pilot — as described in a draft that was included in the UA’s agenda for Sunday’s general body meeting, sent out in an email Saturday — is to increase student safety while making it more attractive for student groups to register on-campus events.

For the first time since Penn’s alcohol policy was approved in 1999, the University will allow mixed drinks to be served at certain registered events. Currently, Penn prohibits all hard alcohol — whether served alone or mixed into a drink — at on-campus parties.

For events with a guest list of no more than 150 people, the pilot permits mixed drinks, with a number of exceptions. It defines mixed drinks as those containing “a maximum of two types of 80 proof alcohol (e.g. vodka and rum; grain alcohol is prohibited), no full bar, no shots or ‘on the rocks’ single shot alcohol drinks only (e.g. no Long Islands or ‘doubles’).”

Events with more than 150 attendees will still be limited to beer and wine service only.

Another central focus of the pilot is increasing “social equity” — enticing non-Greek student groups to host on-campus events where alcohol can be served.

To that end, the pilot will open up additional on-campus spaces — which could include rooms like Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags — where organizations can host parties, mixers and other events with alcohol. These events will still be subject to the standards laid out by both the pilot and the current alcohol policy.

All student organizations — including Greek chapters — will also be able to apply to receive funding for one or two security guards at their on-campus events. Penn’s alcohol policy currently requires all registered events to have a security presence, but does not provide any means for groups to get University funding for the security.

The pilot — which will last for one year — will be a major discussion topic at the UA’s meeting Sunday night. The meeting will be held in room 240 in Huntsman Hall at 9 p.m. It is open to the public.

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