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A year after the University implemented a new alcohol policy, a progress report prepared by Penn's alcohol policy coordinator is placing a key aspect of it under question while claiming that for the most part, the policy has been a success. Most notably, the report notes the complete failure of the "bring your own beer" component of the policy, and a drop in registered on-campus parties. Provost Robert Barchi said the BYOB policy simply "proved to be impossible to implement." "Of the 45 recommendations we made, this is the only one we're modifying right now," Barchi said. "We don't think that any of the success [of the new policy] is attributable to the BYOB policy," he said. As for the drop in on-campus parties -- from 150 in 1998-99 to 114 in 1999-2000 -- Barchi was quick to point out that the number of registered off-campus parties increased in the past year. These are parties held in a bar or a club, rather than a campus location. This drop is likely due to a stricter registration system and tougher monitoring at parties -- with the new rules, groups are more aware of the consequences, should something go wrong. InterFraternity Council Executive Vice President John Buchanan, a Phi Kappa Psi brother and College senior, added that hosting on-campus parties is now "a pretty significant responsibility" and fewer groups are "willing to take that chance." The 1999-2000 Alcohol Progress Report is a one-year retrospective following the 45 recommendations made by the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse that were adopted by the University last fall. The new policy was prompted by the death of 26-year-old alumnus Michael Tobin, who fell down a flight of stairs to his death after a night of drinking at the Phi Gamma Delta house. The report, authored by Alcohol Policy Coordinator Stephanie Ives --ÿwho was hired as a result of a recommendation by the WGAA -- evaluates how well the new policy met the five goals set up by the Working Group. Ives presented the report at yesterday's University Council meeting. Also presented were several proposed changes to the policy -- including the deletion of the BYOB clause. "I don't think it's going to have any impact whatsoever," Barchi said of the proposal to get rid of BYOB. Besides the problems with the BYOB policy, the report notes that many groups have moved their events off campus. In the 1998-99 academic year, 50 events were registered off campus. But last year there were 93 off-campus events. That number, though, does not include any nonregistered off-campus parties, which include nearly all parties held in the homes of students living off campus. Buchanan said many groups are realizing it's easier to have events at a third-party location. "This shows that student groups are understanding the consequences of having their parties on campus as opposed to having them at third-party vendors," he explained. "It's a lot easier to control something that's at somebody else's venue." The move off campus does not concern Barchi. "Frankly, I think the safest location for alcohol-serving parties is off-campus registered locations," Barchi said. Still, it seems likely that the drop in official registered parties means an increase in unsupervised off-campus parties, where safety cannot be ensured. But Ives said that her office has been "informally" tracking the numerous alcohol-serving events held off campus that fail to register. And Ives encouraged people to hold their events on campus. "Student groups are becoming more aware of potential problems," she said. And the report revealed that there has been difficulty sanctioning organizations that fail to register events. All groups -- Greek and non-Greek -- holding events serving alcohol are required to register their parties with Ives. Ives said that, currently, the policy itself includes no disciplinary actions that can be taken against groups that do not register events. However, she added that other offices can reprimand these groups. The report calls for exploring the possibility of adding sanctions to the policy.

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