21 Or Older? CCSU To Roll Out Designated Dorm Drinking Program

Maria Basileo, Photography Editor

Central Connecticut is implementing a new pilot program for Fall 2019 that will allow students who are 21 and older to drink in designated areas in Thomas Gallaudet Hall and F. Don James Hall.

“We really think it’s going to add a dimension to your life on campus because this is not the United States under prohibition,” Ryan Baumann, the associate director of Residence Life, said. “Alcohol is definitely a part of all of your lives as you turn 21.”

Students who are 21 and older, and can drink in the specialized housing, will have their room or suite registered as such under Residence Life. Each resident has a choice of any two options for a maximum personal possession amount: a six pack of beer, equal to 72 oz. or less; one bottle of wine, equal to 750 ml or less; or one bottle of spirits, equal to 350 ml or less.

“I think it will be good because I think that the people who do live on campus that are at the age of 21 should kind of have the freedom to do that in their own space,” CCSU junior psychology major Heather Bernier said. “It’s a controlled environment, so I think it’ll be good to have.”

Some restrictions include drinking only in designated areas, including bedrooms and shared living areas, and that no alcohol may be consumed while anyone under the legal drinking age is present in the living space.

But not every student is on board with the new policy, though, with business management freshman Corey Pollard concerned about how the alcohol will impact students’ academics.

“Lack of schoolwork, grades are going to drop, a bunch of problems,” Pollard said. “They should just leave it how it is.”

Drinking will be prohibited in all other places including outdoors, hallways and living spaces designed for the floor or building. Guests of the halls will not be allowed to bring in outside alcohol.

CCSU looked at the models and policies for alcohol consumption in residence halls of other system universities, like the ones at Western Connecticut and Southern Connecticut, to develop its own.

“We spent a lot of time talking to other schools and Southern actually has it all over the campus at this point, but they said the most difficult year was the first year,” Director of Residence Life Jean Alicandro said.

CCSU’s program adopts aspects from both schools’ policies like Southern’s rule restricting how much alcohol residents may bring on campus per day, which is more than six cans, or 12 oz., of beer; one bottle of wine, or 28 oz.; or up to 8 oz. of liquor.

Also adopted was Western’s policy which states residents may only drink in their room if all other room residents are at least 21 and no one under age 21 is present.

“We have faith and believe that probably 94 to 95 percent of the people’s intentions are good and, hopefully, they’re going to do the right thing,” Alicandro said.

Eligible students will be able to select a 21+ housing option in May.