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.