Underage drinkers beware: Liquor Control Enforcement officials are cracking down. "Watch out," warned Tom Heffner, an LCE supervisor, yesterday. "We're coming." Heffner said that as a result of "a directive down from the top," the LCE has increased its efforts to stop the underage -- including students -- from consuming alcohol. "We've been stepping things up for the last several months," Heffner said. "We are trying to cut down on underage drinking on campuses . . . and that's statewide." And Heffner noted that more and more students have been cited by the LCE as a result of recent efforts. "[It's] much more likely that you're going to get caught [if you're drinking underage] than three or four years ago," he added. The University area has been the site of numerous LCE raids since a Phi Kappa Psi party last March yielded approximately 80 citations of students for underage drinking and the arrest of a brother for selling liquor without a license. Friday night 20 people were cited for underage drinking at the Palladium and the Gold Standard, two campus bars. Heffner said LCE officers visit bars every weekend, searching for underage drinkers. He said the officers easily blend in with the patrons. "We have some reasonably young-looking officers," he said, although he would not specify the number of officers involved in surveillance activities. Information about the locations of underage drinkers comes from a variety of sources, he said, including other drinking establishments and area residents. "When we get information as to underage drinking, we are going to aggressively pursue it," Heffner said. Students said last night that the threat of the LCE has cut into social life on campus. "The fact that the fraternities are worried about citations will limit the parties they throw," said College sophomore David Avarbock, who added that he is not much of a drinker. "It takes away from the social life on campus." "I don't think it's right that [the LCE] should be nosing around in our business," said College sophomore Timothy Cohen. Associate Vice Provost for University Life Larry Moneta said yesterday that a number of students have told him they are concerned about the presence of the LCE on campus. "Make it stop," he said students have been pleading. Moneta said he has mixed feelings about the LCE, which has threatened two basic aspects of social life at the University: the fraternity parties and the bar scene. "I'm torn because I'm not going to endorse drinking . . . as an essential ingredient in the quality of campus life," Moneta said. "My fantasy is that other activities [can replace drinking]." But he added that he is not a "naive adult" who thinks solving the problem is as easy as adding another campus film festival, although he said he is considering speeding up plans for more activities that are not alcohol-related. "We're still trying to figure out a strategy for more alternative social activities," he said.Comments powered by Disqus
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