Student Senate amends bylaws about alcohol policy

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Members of Student Senate voted Tuesday to amend their bylaws to allow student organizations to purchase alcohol for on-campus events with funds they receive from Student Senate.

Student organizations will now be able to apply for funds to buy alcohol for pre-approved campus events.

Student Senate approves and provides campus groups and organizations with funding for activities and events each year. Groups will now have the opportunity to apply for these additional funds because cost of alcohol cannot be included in their original budget requests. Budgets were requested in the Spring semester before the bylaw was amended, so organizations could not budget for potential alcohol events. It is possible that groups will be able to request funding for their budgets next year.

The Senate Allocations Committee uses their discretion to allocate funding for the alcohol at the events, and groups are encouraged to seek other sources of funding in addition to Student Senate.

The pilot program to allow alcohol at on-campus events began last spring at the Gatsby Gala. Individuals over the age of 21 were able to enjoy an open bar at the event.

Alcohol was offered at the Gatsby Gala to draw both faculty and graduate students to attend, according Student Senate president Anna D’Ginto, ’16.

The Gatsby Gala was viewed as a success, and members of Student Senate decided to amend their bylaws to allow organizations to use the funds given to them by Student Senate to provide alcohol for individuals over the age 21 at on-campus events.

On-campus events with open bars and alcohol will be approved by administration before the group is able to apply to Student Senate for the funds to buy the alcohol, D’Ginto said.

Before the amendment, Student Senate bylaws prohibited groups from purchasing alcohol with the funds they provided to campus groups and organizations. Because the amendment is a pilot program, it can be modified if necessary, according to D’Ginto. Members of Senate are optimistic the program will encourage students over the age of 21 to drink safely.

“With proper publicity and clear explanation of the rules and how it and when it can apply, I think it can be really beneficial,” D’Ginto said.

The amendment was passed by a unanimous vote during Student Senate’s fifth meeting of the year.

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