The Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) task force was created last fall to make recommendations on possible preventative measures for alcohol and drug related incidents on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus and the surrounding community.
The proposition of banning alcohol in UWSP dormitory rooms was proposed by the AODA committee according to a November Stevens Point Journal article. In a Stevens Point City Times article last week, UWSP Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and AODA co-chairperson Al Thompson said that there was no recommendation currently being considered.
The AODA task force is a joint effort between the university and city of Stevens Point with Mayor Andrew Halverson as co-chair. Other community leaders including tavern owners are also part of the committee, offering insight into how to prevent drug and alcohol incidents around the community.
UWSP students currently have to pay a $90 fine for their first drug or alcohol related infraction on campus. This money funds a Personal Alcohol Control through Exploration (PACE) class that the student must attend which outlines the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Incoming freshmen are also required to take a free online class called “Alcohol-Wise” to educate individuals on safe drinking strategies.
Some UWSP students scoff at the prospect of alcohol being banned in the dorms and point to the need for better education as a way to curb alcohol and drug related incidents. Kaitlin Schuman, a senior web and digital media development major thinks a ban would be ineffective.
“Honestly, I understand the intentions behind it, but the thing is, policies like that don’t stop any of that stuff from happening. There’s still going to be underage drinking, there’s still going to be people sneaking alcohol in,” Schuman said. “The focus of a movement like that should be placed on promoting responsible drinking rather than banning it from campus and just turning a blind eye.”
Senior drama major John Laedtke had a similar opinion on the issue.
“I think it would create situations where students go out and get even more drunk than normal. It would perpetuate the culture of irresponsible drinking and take away students’ chance to learn how to drink in more relaxed settings than house parties,” Laedtke said.
Senior math major Callen Grulkowski said that he felt the culture of drinking surrounding college was here to stay but that it was not necessarily a bad thing.
“People will always find a way. Even if you ban alcohol, people will still drink. As long as you have a safe way to get home, as long as kids aren’t abusing alcohol, alcohol is fine. Don’t drink by yourself and stay together with your friends. If you are going to drink, be safe,” Grulkowski said.
There is no definite word on what action will be taken. UWSP is also still considering a campus-wide tobacco ban.