Citing the ineffectiveness of the "bring your own beer" policy, the administration is set today to propose removing the BYOB component from the University's year-old alcohol policy. When Penn implemented its new alcohol policy -- with sweeping educational, disciplinary and social changes to the campus culture -- last fall, officials said that BYOB was one method they would use to curb underage drinking. But a year later, officials have decided that the rule just doesn't work. BYOB rules state that every 21-year-old attending a registered on-campus party --ÿwhich include fraternity parties and most other events organized by official campus groups -- could bring a six-pack of beer with them and then retrieve the alcohol from the bartender during the course of the evening. "It wasn't that the whole policy was a failure, it was that the expectation that people would be arriving at the door with their own six-pack in hand was not met," University Alcohol Coordinator Stephanie Ives said. The proposed changes, printed in yesterday's Almanac, Penn's journal of record, will be presented today to University Council, along with a comprehensive evaluation of the policy's first year. In addition to the removal of BYOB, there are five proposed revisions to the policy. These include banning large alcohol containers such as kegs, prohibiting drinking games and prohibiting student organizations from using funds to purchase alcohol. The administration is also proposing that no student, even those that are 21, may be served alcohol at a registered party if they are already clearly intoxicated. Also, alcohol must be served from a separate area of the party by of-age bartenders. Undergraduate Assembly Chairman Michael Bassik, a member of the original provost-led committee that wrote the new alcohol policy in the spring of 1999, said the BYOB component of the alcohol policy was not necessary. "It's no secret that the University's BYOB policy was unenforceable, and we felt rather than to continue recommending this unenforceable policy, we just decided to eliminate it entirely," said Bassik, a College senior. "It hurts the credibility of the policy," he added. And Andrew Mandelbaum, president of the InterFraternity Council, said the proposed changes are basically already in effect. "I think that all these changes are continuing to focus on our trend of campus safety," said Mandelbaum, an Alpha Chi Ro brother. The College senior added that these "seem to be things that we all already do." Last fall, the University adopted the campus-wide alcohol policy that included stricter monitoring, a ban on hard alcohol and an emphasis on education and counseling -- as well as the BYOB component. The school policy came under review following the March 1999 death of 26-year-old alumnus Michael Tobin, a brother at Phi Gamma Delta, after a night of drinking at a fraternity reunion party. Within days of Tobin's death, University President Judith Rodin instituted a full ban on alcohol at undergraduate parties, and asked Provost Robert Barchi to convene a committee to re-examine Penn's alcohol policy. The administration is inviting comment on the proposed changes, and will make a final decision in mid-October. The one-year progress report to be presented today to University Council evaluates the policy's effectiveness at fulfilling its stated goals: increasing education, expanding social options and increasing individual and group responsibility. "At the commencement of the Working Group, the provost had made a promise to the University that there would be a follow-up to the recommendation," Ives explained. "That's basically what this report is."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.