Officials taking too much credit for Unofficial

By Jef Tromp

Officials are taking too much credit for the more subdued feeling of this year’s Unofficial. It would have been a lot more visibly out of control had it been 65 degrees and sunny, as it was Sunday. Sure, they gave out nearly 200 tickets Friday, but they also closed down at least two bars. If they are going to do that, then just check every person’s BAC and ID as they leave. With a zero-tolerance policy, they are sure to get at least that many underage drinkers, look good in the news and be done for the day by noon, all while reporting record one-day ticket revenues.

However, that shortsighted plan will only drive parties into private residences where nobody monitors the flow of alcohol, private rooms are available for increased sexual assault and guests leave altogether more intoxicated than they would from a bar. The restrictions placed this week on the number of cases or kegs allowed to be purchased were a joke. People just go to more than one store, or return to a store for more beer when workers’ shifts have changed.

A better policy would be trying to limit it to a local event by further restricting parking on that weekend and not allowing local bar owners to bus people in from other campuses. Let the students have their day of fun in a safe, restricted environment rather than some slummy overcrowded apartments. Arrest those who are actually out fighting, vandalizing and generally causing problems, not the ones whose only crime is being young, standing around and drinking beer in a bar. This is how to ensure students’ safety.

Or by all means, continue what you’re doing, declare an early victory and wait to see if the weather bails you out again next year.

Jef Tromp

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