University maintains strict alcohol consumption restrictions

April 1, 2013

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

Despite the stereotype of alcohol-flooded campuses, UCCS policy has stated since at least 2008 that alcohol can only be consumed in Clyde’s and the Alpine Village apartments.

Additionally, alcohol is only allowed as long as legal students don’t have alcohol around underage students.

“I think it keeps control on what underage [people] can drink. It’s better than not being able to drink at all,” said Jennifer Skovgaard, a junior majoring in nursing.

“You’re not gonna get drunk at 2 p.m. in Clyde’s – you’re gonna get a beer and have a social aspect,” she said. “You’re not gonna drink to get drunk.”

Others, like Jennifer Voorhees, manager of Clyde’s, see it differently.

“I have had students bring in outside liquor in open containers, have had students try and purchase beer without a valid ID or pass drinks off to younger students, all of which we stop and hopefully prevent from happening again,” she said in an email.

“We have a set amount a person can consume before they are told they must eat food or wait a period of time before drinking more,” Voorhees said.

“We have a close working relationship with Public Safety,” she added. “Most of the staff has been trained in safe alcoholic service or TIPS training.”

According to gettips.com, TIPS is a “skill-based training program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking and drunk driving.”

Additionally, Voorhees said Clyde’s tries to keep a vigilant eye on consumption. “I personally have been in the bar business for over a decade, so not much gets by me on a good day,” she said.

“Even if a customer looks 50 years old, they should have been ID’ed by whomever sold them a drink. We should be ID’ing everybody,” she added.

Although students of age are allowed to consume alcohol in Clyde’s and Alpine, Public Safety advises that they always keep in mind the student code of conduct, which is refraining from distributing alcoholic beverages to an underage student.

“If there’s a party, they could fine themselves if they’re in violation,” said Brian McPike, chief of police and executive director of Public Safety.

He said Public Safety has had three violations between Aug. 1, 2012 and March 21, all occurring in Alpine Village.

The first, during October in Antero House, resulted in issuing a ticket to one person and another placed in the Choices program. Two other violations occurred in the Crestone and Shavano houses.

“If there’s somebody from off-campus and not a student and underage, we’ll typically issue a citation to them,” McPike said. “We can refer them to Housing, and Housing has the option of putting them in the Choices program.”

According to the UCCS Alcohol and Other Drugs Information website, the punishments for violating the university’s alcohol policy include a combination of a warning, enrollment in a Choices program and a $60 fine for first-time, low-level offenders.

Punishments range up to third-time aggravated probation with risk of suspension from housing, lifetime housing probation, 24 hours of community service and parental notification. Third-time offenses are considered misdemeanors.

Despite the violation punishments, some students feel that the school isn’t doing enough.

Kyle Walker, a senior majoring in health promotion, doesn’t drink. “But I believe that you need to have better enforcement for the underage drinkers,” he said.

“I recall a couple incidents last year of people getting in trouble – people of age having roommates that were underage drink with them. Quite frankly, I’m not a fan of underage drinking,” Walker added.

McPike advised students that do drink to do so in moderation. “If you’re gonna use alcohol, make sure you know where you are, do it around friends,” he said.

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