Demerits dished out for underage drinking

A new sanctioning guideline for conduct violations has the power to prohibit students from participating in some campus activities.

Students who are cited for alcohol-related violations could potentially be prohibited from leadership positions on campus as well as from formal recruitment for sororities and fraternities.

“We didn’t think that the old policy was tough enough,” said Irene Stevens, dean of student life.

The policy was created by the conduct violations task force consisting of Butler University students, faculty and staff.

“If you commit a conduct violation, student affairs prefers that you not be a role model on campus,” Stevens said. “While rushing a sorority or fraternity is not a role-model position, it is a privilege.”

However, the new guidelines are not as extreme as rumors may suggest.

Stevens said that student affairs will look at every case individually. Prior offenses, the offense itself and other pertinent aspects will all be taken into consideration.

Stevens said that, in most cases, students will not be placed on probation for their first offenses.

“Educational sanctions will be the first course of action,” Stevens said. “This could mean taking a class or an all-day workshop.”

If the student needs to be arrested or is sent to the hospital, however, then student affairs may place the student on probation, Stevens said.

According to student affairs, the students on the conduct task force were the ones leading the charge to add formal recruitment to the list of possible sanctions.

“The students thought that adding formal recruitment to the list would give it more teeth,” Stevens said.

Junior Jordan Ludwig, women’s recruitment counselor and sorority member, agreed with the policy.

“Honestly, I think it’s a good thing,” she said. “But I do think this will affect guys more than girls.”

Freshman thought that they were not properly informed on the change in conduct violations.

“I think it’s stupid,” freshman Kelli Linsenmayer said. “I don’t like that they just started it and didn’t really warn us about it.

“We only heard about it in Red Cup Culture. I don’t think the policy will keep people from partying.”

Freshman Lindsay Byers said she understands the motive but doesn’t feel she was briefed well on the new guidelines.

“It makes sense for what they’re trying to do, but it’s not fair that they weren’t upfront about it,” Byers said. “It’s still pretty unclear to me.”

Students will receive a second chance to participate in rush the following year if they have no new violations, Stevens said.

Ben Hunter, chief of staff and executive director of public safety, explained the reasoning behind this policy from a public safety standpoint.

“We still see high blood alcohol levels on this campus, which is concerning,” Hunter said. “I think it’s good that we’re finding new ways to send a message.

“When it comes down to it, the law is the law,” Hunter said. “You must be 21 to drink. There are consequences to breaking this law, whether it’s a fine, jail time or being placed on probation from participating in campus groups.”

Stevens said that the motive behind the new policy is the safety and well-being of students.

“We just want to encourage students to find other things to do than drink,” Stevens said. “You don’t have to drink to have fun at Butler. Use good judgment in how you choose to have fun.”

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