Story by Sabra Jackson, Contributing writer
The Board of Regents approved changes made to the alcohol policy in the Student Life Policies, Rules and Procedures during their meeting Feb. 24.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, and Mike Young, associate vice president of Student Affairs, presented a change in the policy that was reviewed by the President’s Cabinet on Jan. 24.
Robertson and a committee, including Abigail French, coordinator of the Women’s Center and Education Program, put the new policy together.
You can find a copy of the alcohol policy along with tailgating procedures and Tent City guidelines in the Murray State University Libraries.
In addition to implementing fines and a tailgating procedure, the policy covers the affects of drinking and how to overcome them as well as information on what outside resources are available for students who need them.
“There’s a lot of information about resources,” French said. “Not all students know where to look for those.”
The board reviewed the policy in regards to how students will be fined based on the use of alcohol on campus.
Robertson said the fine students will be given is lower than other universities, including University of Louisville, Marquette University and University of Kentucky, which is where the idea for the change came from.
If students host a party in university housing, the student living in the room will be fined. There is an additional sanction for students in the room under 21 and drinking alcohol.
“That’s basically a fee that will be assessed similarly to any other housing violation,” French said.
Young said if the student is a minor their parents will be informed on the second offense to the policy. Students over 21 are responsible for themselves as adults, therefore parents will not be briefed on the situation.
“The reason that it comes into effect at the second offense is because we want to give the student the opportunity at that first offense to correct the behavior themselves,” French said.
There are four different levels to the severity system which varies by degree of severity and the number of offenses. The fine will increase as you continue to violate the policy.
“It’s meant to stress the importance of our alcohol policy on campus as well as provide effective deterrent against future violations,” SGA President Clint Comb said.
Young said the students involved in Greek life will be heard in front of the Greek Standards Board of their organization as well as the Murray State Judicial Board if university codes have been broken.
The tailgating procedure highlights the state and local laws of the use of alcoholic beverages. It states people attending tailgating events are to be respectful of the nature and character of Murray State.
This procedure has already been put into practice but was never officially written down. Now, those who register to tailgate will receive a copy of the procedure upon registration.
According to the tailgating procedure, “consumption of alcoholic beverages from their original containers is strictly prohibited.”
People may consume alcoholic beverages from paper or solid colored plastic cups. The use of cans and bottles for alcohol is not permitted during such events and open alcohol containers outside Stewart Stadium parking lots are prohibited. Drinking during games is also illicit.
While the alcohol policy only covers student involvement, the tailgating procedure touches not only students, but alumni, parents and community members visiting the university on game day.
The alcohol eCheckup is currently being paid for by the university. However, the fees collected from the violations to the alcohol policy will be assist in providing the program.
“All the things that we do, we do to educate the students,” Young said. “We are trying to create a safe environment.”