A long Tradition at the University of Alabama

5919e25b1600002000c5b496

Interviews in an article “Willing to Do Everything,’ Mothers Defend Sons Accused of Sexual Assault’ by Anemona Hartocollis and Christina Capecchi in the New York Times gave the perspective of mothers whose sons had been accused of sexual misconduct.

The article was written as a consequence of Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s new education secretary, having “rescinded tough Obama-era guidelines on campus sexual assault,”

Some of the mothers met with Ms. DeVos in July to tell their stories, and Ms. DeVos alluded to them in a speech she gave last month. An advocacy group founded in 2013 by several mothers, Families Advocating for Campus Equality, or FACE, has grown to hundreds of families, who have exchanged tens of thousands of messages through their email list, said Cynthia Garrett, co-president of the group.

In an earlier version of the NYT story the following was included, although it has now been excised:

One mother, Judith, said her son had been expelled after having sex with a student who said she had been too intoxicated to give consent.

“In my generation, what these girls are going through was never considered assault,” Judith said. “It was considered, ‘I was stupid and I got embarrassed.’

In the article, as it now exists, this is reported about Judith:

Judith, whose son was expelled, said that at first her son did not tell her about the complaint against him, thinking he could handle it alone. She found out when he was taken to a hospital, suicidal.

She described herself as a lifelong Democrat and feminist who went to college in the 1970s at the height of the sexual revolution and women’s liberation movements. Her husband and their two sons were “super respectful” of women, she said.

“We don’t really need to teach our sons not to rape,” she said.

The use of alcohol by under-aged drinkers on campuses commonly leads to sexual assault. Alcohol Policy MD has described the problem in this way:

Underage college drinkers are more likely than their of-age counterparts to suffer consequences ranging from unplanned sex, getting hurt or injured, requiring medical treatment for an alcohol overdose, and doing something they would later regret.

The University of Alabama’s alcohol policy quotes the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism claim that “97,000 students are victims of an alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.”

Although the University has strict guidelines on where alcohol can be consumed on campus*, there is alcohol use by many under-aged drinkers on campus and off.

On any given football game day, you will likely find that tipsy VIPs will be carted to Bryant Denny Stadium from the hospitality tent on the grounds of the President’s Mansion. One was observed who even was allowed to enter the stadium holding a plastic cup containing liquor. He was wearing the name tag he’d been given at the President’s Mansion. Of course alcohol can flow freely in the sky boxes at the stadium. Ticket holders in The Zone replenish their liquor stash, that is kept in assigned lockers, before the game. The use of alcoholic beverages in the student section of the stadium is not unheard of as well, although it is strictly prohibited.

The University of Alabama is to be commended for the part of its new Master Plan that, as reported by Ed Enoch in The Tuscaloosa News, includes “creating safe, inviting interactive gathering and study spaces.”

The campus master plan also includes a new retail and entertainment center space north of the Ferguson Student Center.

“One of the things we heard a lot when we were working on the master plan was about interactive spaces, how do you get people to interact, how do you facilitate that through design?” Wolfe said. “One of the things that came up repeatedly was food. If you have food opportunities, there people will hang around and eat and chat and get to know each other. It gives them a reason to be there.”

Currently the downtown area of Tuscaloosa and The Strip are the de facto areas for students to commingle. Bars in both areas depend on student customers. For the University to provide an alternative entertainment area that is alcohol free is a step in the right direction.

Even more Greek multimillion-dollar mansions have been built on campus since building plans were described in a 2013 AP article:

Records provided to The Associated Press by the university show that Alabama’s Greek-letter social groups have undergone a $202 million building boom over the past decade that’s left the school with what one study say is the nation’s largest Greek system. Construction or expansion of about 30 houses is being financed by using public debt to provide loans that are repaid by private groups, university officials say.

The result is a public university campus dotted with palatial homes that provide desperately needed housing for thousands of students on a campus that’s spilling over its historic boundaries.

“I certainly think it’s a win-win for everyone,” said alumnae Jennifer Meehan of Gamma Phi Beta, which is building a $12 million, 40,000-square-foot home on a prime lot on a road named for legendary Crimson Tide football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

According to the Journal of Blacks In Higher Education in 2001, “Up until recently the fraternities and sororities paid $1 in annual rent for this space [property on campus where Greek mansions are located]. The annual rent for was recently raised to $100.” (The nominal amount for rent that Greeks pay for the use of valuable state-owned property may have increased since 2001.)

Sororities are not allowed to sponsor co-ed parties on campus, but the slack is more than taken up by the fraternities, many of which have huge party room annexes adjacent to their residential areas. One common practice when a party takes place in the yard of a fraternity house is to screen it off with plastic sheeting. A thick alcoholic haze lingers over the areas where Greek parties take place. Under-aged drinking by students seems to be an aspect of campus life that the University takes a laissez-faire approach to.

A post by Tyler Kingkade in the Huffpost, “Sororities Don’t See Their Alcohol Policies Changing As Colleges Try To Fix Greek Life”, described Greek party life on the University’s campus:

On college campuses, all-male fraternities frequently team up with the female sororities for philanthropy, social gatherings and formal events, a tenet of Greek life going back decades. Informal traditions, like those of fraternity members serenading sorority women with an off-key rendition of a love song, are common as well. Both have similar schedules and responsibilities that come with being dues-paying members of a house. In turn, any time a frat decides to commit to a night of drinking in their basement, their sorority friends are often the first female guests to be invited. These two groups share the common experience of going through rush and initiation as well.

At the University of Alabama, for example, fraternities will allow any sorority member into their parties, regardless of whether they were invited, according to women in Greek life on the campus. But men at UA need a personal invitation from a brother to attend the frat parties.

There is definitely a disconnect between common practices on the University of Alabama campus and in off-campus areas when it comes to the University’s alcohol policy.

What is it about the University’s policy that says “Individuals under 21 years of age are not permitted to consume alcohol.” that is so hard to fathom? Could it be that one of the traditions of the capstone, poor conduct by students,  may well go back to the behavior of students even during its President George H Denny’s reign? ( Denny retired as President in 1936.)

The book Manners and Southern History, edited by Ted Ownby, quoted a letter written to President Denny by a concerned parent about the “temptations to young boys” asking, “Have you the obscene places as most towns?” Another parent wrote about concern with the “considerable dissipation among the students” that was forcing her to consider sending her son to another school.

But one essay indicated that there was tolerance for less than stalwart conduct:

There is also some suggestion that adults resigned themselves to allowing young white men’s natural proclivities to flow in acceptable directions, toward African American women or lower class women. This piece of doggerel made it past faculty sensors in the Rammer Jammer, suggesting the wide acceptance of its sentiments: “The browner the berry/the sweeter the juice/I want a colored lady/ for my personal use!”

According to the Vintage Crimson‘s “Traditions of the Capstone”:

The University of Alabama was opened to women in 1892; “young women of good character” were welcome to enroll. They were expected to reside in private homes, and it was shortly afterward that the Foster-Murfee-Caples House was converted into six apartments to provide housing for the growing student body.

Times have certainly changed since 1892 but the pernicious influence of alcohol consumption on under-aged drinkers persists. It may be late in the game but perhaps the Trustees of the University of Alabama should do more to uphold the school’s own policies if  the desired outcome would be a safer and more healthy experience at The Capstone?

*Designated Locations regarding the use of alcohol

  1. University-owned locations where alcohol consumption is permitted:
    1. President’s Mansion, Paul Bryant Conference Center, Ferguson Center, Alumni Hall, Smith Hall, Gorgas House, University Club, and certain University Recreation facilities. All of these locations require individuals to follow the appropriate guidelines, and individuals must receive approval prior to the event. For the most current list of designated University locations where alcohol is permitted, see the Alcohol Policy. View the Grounds Use Alcohol Approval Form.
    2. The President, Provost, and Vice Presidents of the University may designate other sites as appropriate for the use of alcoholic beverages. All other locations (except those listed below) may be approved as appropriate locations for specific events at which alcoholic beverages may be served.
  2. Locations where alcohol is prohibited:
    1. The public use areas of Bryant Denny Stadium and all other athletic competition facilities are permanently restricted from any service or sale of alcoholic beverages.
    2. University Recreation prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in its facilities unless explicitly noted in Appendix F to this policy or in the Alcohol Policy.

 

Standard

A Sober Higher Education?

112dc812b93d5a8fa8b84b7bf3dd765d--beautiful-long-hair-beautiful-black-women

An article by Claire Altschuler in the Chicago Tribune “Colleges using sober dorms to combat alcohol, drug addiction” describes measures being taken by some institutions of higher education to help students become less high.

Over 20 million young Americans started college this fall. For most of them, the next few years will be a time of intellectual challenges, new friendships and career exploration. But for many, those years will also include a lot of partying and exposure to an abundance of alcohol and drugs.

According to a 2016 report by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1.2 million full-time college students drink alcohol, and more than 700,000 use marijuana on an average day. Binge drinking is common. More than a third of surveyed students reported binge drinking (taking five or more drinks in quick succession), according to a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Most students learn to navigate the college party circuit without much damage. But for those who arrive at school already struggling with substance abuse, easy access to drugs and alcohol poses a real danger. For them, living on a campus where partying is common and alcohol and drugs are readily available can be daunting.

 

As many as 30 percent of college students are battling substance-use disorders, says Lisa Laitman, director of the Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) at Rutgers University in New Jersey. ”That’s a lot of students who need help,” she says.

To meet this need, schools are developing “collegiate recovery programs” (CRPs) that help students stay sober and remain in college. Programs typically include mental health and substance abuse counseling, addiction support group meetings, peer-to-peer support, and a wide variety of substance-free programs and social activities that help students bond and sustain their sobriety in the “abstinence-hostile environment” of college campuses. Several programs also provide special on-campus housing, giving students a safe place to live where no drugs or alcohol are allowed and where residents support one another.

The University of Alabama has such a program.

The Collegiate Recovery & Intervention Services Department offers a Collegiate Recovery Community for students who have made a commitment to lead sober, healthy lives. Modeled after a successful program at Texas Tech University, The University of Alabama has created a structured, healthy community where recovering students can thrive academically and socially while actively pursuing their recovery. The Collegiate Recovery Community provides students an opportunity to bond together in an alcohol and drug free environment.

But as an institution that includes a large Greek community, the University has unique problems.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has described what a “perfect storm” in terms of campus alcohol abuse would be:

Factors related to specific college environments also are significant. Students attending schools with strong Greek systems and with prominent athletic programs tend to drink more than students at other types of schools. In terms of living arrangements, alcohol consumption is highest among students living in fraternities and sororities and lowest among commuting students who live with their families.

 

Promoting a safer and healthier academic experience at the University of Alabama and in Tuscaloosa should be a prime objective for community leaders.

“Temperance” seems to be an antiquated concept these days. But it should be remembered that the Temperance Movement was led by yesterday’s liberated women.

Tara Isabella Burton’s essay “The Feminist History of Prohibition” gave credit to the Temperance Movement for the radicalization of Susan B Anthony:

One of the major groups behind the temperance movement, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, was “long ignored or ridiculed as a fossil of prohibition.” But recent scholarship has come to appreciate the more progressive—even feminist—side of temperance work. Scholars like Ruth Bordin recognize that the temperance movement—whose goals included improving the lives of women whose drunken husbands were driven to abuse—as “the foremost example of American feminism.”

Indeed, many women’s rights activists came to the movement through participation in the temperance crusade (among them Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton). 

In Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama both violence and sexual assaults are inextricably tied to alcohol abuse. A bar culture exists in which under-aged drinkers often binge drink. The University’s alcohol policy recognizes the problems associated with under aged drinking. Sexual misconduct has also been addressed by the University.

Ogden Nash wrote, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker” based on the idea that a person can use alcohol to convince someone to do something that they might not do if they were sober.

If co-eds at the University ever decide that “having fun” doesn’t mean getting wasted, then the spirit of early feminists might be revived. They might find it a lot easier to turn down the amorous advances of their inebriated dates.

Sexual predators in Tuscaloosa might then realize that pursuing women as if they were going after hunting trophies is no longer going to be possible.
Standard

Just another Homecoming drive by shooting?

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.48.35 AM

After the Crimson Tide gave a sound whipping to the Arkansas Razorbacks on the gridiron, thousands of football fans migrated to the area known as The Strip. Bars located in The Strip, which is located within easy walking distance of Bryant Denny Stadium, cater to football fans and students.

Doubtlessly many under-aged drinkers were participating in the football victory celebration when a car drove down University Boulevard and shots were fired.

Michael Casagrande reported on the incident in AL.com:

Two red shoes sat empty on a Tuscaloosa sidewalk following an early-morning shooting outside a popular bar.

An unidentified 28-year-old man was shot in the lower back outside Rounders on the University Boulevard strip near Bryant-Denny Stadium following Alabama’s 41-9 win over Arkansas. 

The shooting occurred at 12:39 a.m. Sunday morning, Tuscaloosa police said. Information on the victim’s wounds was not immediately available early Sunday morning. The victim was taken to DCH Hospital just up the street from the crime scene.

Large crowds were still milling around the near-campus entertainment zone in the hour following the shooting. A group sat just outside the yellow police tape eating pitas as the homicide unit took crime scene photos approximately 20 feet away. Across the street, a long line patiently waited to order at the Quick Grill as police guarded the secure crime scene.

The incident has been characterized as a “drive by shooting” although it wasn’t a random shooting from a passing car.

By the time the shooting occurred much of the Homecoming crowd had probably dissipated but the police who patrolled the area still must have had their hands full. Students frequent the bars on The Strip until the wee hours of the morning. The police certainly would have been overwhelmed had enforcing the laws that govern under-aged drinkers been their highest priority.

Gunfire on The Strip isn’t frequently heard. Shootings have occurred in Tuscaloosa at apartments, trailer parks and other locations than The Strip.

But drinking alcohol and gun violence are statistically correlated.  A paper published in Oxford Journal’s Epidemiological Review reported, “One large group of studies showed that over one third of firearm violence decedents had acutely consumed alcohol and over one fourth had heavily consumed alcohol prior to their deaths.”

As long as the City of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama find enforcing laws and policies on under-aged drinking to be a Sisyphean feat, there is a greater likelihood of some University of Alabama students not living long enough to get their degrees.

 

Standard

A tale of two IDs

tumblr_npubhcrrqo1scqd0no1_500

There was a 2016 Reddit post about the use of a fake ID by a minor in Tuscaloosa. The guilty party wrote:

I was recently approached outside of a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and asked to show them my ID. At first I kept telling them I was 22, but he told me it was better to just tell them my real age so I did, I’m 20. They took my ID and wrote me a citation that says I committed the offense of “Improper ID By Minor.” They handed me the citation and told me to show up to court, but that’s it. 

A response to the post, which was asking about the consequences of the citation, said that a year ago The University of Alabama Civil Law Clinic gave a “$320 fine and a mandatory 90-180 day suspension of your driver’s license” as the penalty. Since then the fine may have been increased by $100.

The use of fake IDs to obtain alcohol in Tuscaloosa is a commonplace practice. High tech IDs can cost hundreds of dollars. It is a law enforcement nightmare. Many people who can pay hundreds of dollars for a fake ID would not be deterred by such a fine.

Several lawyers in Tuscaloosa advertise that they specialize in “Open Container”, “Improper I.D.” and “Minor in Possession of Alcohol” cases.

In terms of Alabama state law, the improper use of an ID can be considered a felony. The penalty for “possession of a forged instrument” may be punishable for up to ten years.

In Tuscaloosa, students who are minors and use a forged instrument seemingly are handled with “kid gloves” by the city. A youthful offenders status may play a part in this. And according to a local law enforcement officer, possession of a “forged instrument” would require intent to defraud. According to his interpretation, the use of a fake ID to enter an establishment to obtain alcohol involves no intent to defraud and can’t be charged under the state’s felony statute.

A student who posted in Greek Rank described his experience with the use of fake IDs in Tuscaloosa in this way:

It can be pretty 50/50. I’ve used good and bad fakes and had success/failure with both. Generally accepted rule is that the bars are more lenient earlier in the week (Mondays and Tuesdays especially) and harder later in the week (Fridays and Saturdays being the worst). Date parties are hit or miss, you’ll pretty quickly learn which locations have stricter bouncers (Chucks for example is usually pretty strict but Ive found Glory Bound to be easier). How good your fake is usually doesn’t determine whether they’ll accept it or not, but unlike some schools where you could use someone of say like a different race and the bouncers wouldn’t care, you need to at least have your picture that looks like you. Also, try to get one that works under a black light and scans. I know I said it doesn’t NEED to work, but a lot more bars nowadays are getting particular about that. I had two for around 75 dollars that worked really well until I became 21.

Just be careful, go on the right nights, don’t go to bars like Gallettes that are notorious for rejections, and you should be fine. Looking back now I think its probably a bad idea to get and use one but I get the feeling you were going to anyway, so hopefully this keeps you from hurting yourself.

The University of Alabama has clearly stated that the use of a fake ID is a violation of its policy.

 The University of Alabama’s Alcohol Policy clearly states that, “It is unlawful and a violation of University Policy to use or possess identification that makes an individual appear older or misrepresents an individual as someone else.”

If the University is serious about its own policies on the illegal use of alcohol and false identification, then it should make the penalty for such behavior onerous enough to deter it.  Obviously current measures are not effective.

 

 

 

 

 

Standard

Just Another Bunch of Drunks at Homecoming!

Homecoming-_1967

Earl Tilford’s book “Turning the Tide: The University in the 1960s” described a University of Alabama Homecoming Parade. Anyone who has ever been to such a homecoming parade has witnessed “a trailer truck bed hauling drunken law school students in tuxedos and top hats along with their inebriated dates, an Alabama tradition.”

Aside from what this says about Alabama’s future barristers, it does represent a culture at the University of Alabama where intoxication seems to be de rigueur on its campus during Homecoming and throughout the year. And most students cannot legally drink.

The University of Alabama has a policy on under-aged drinking:

In Alabama, as the University’s student alcohol policy states, “Individuals under 21 years of age are not permitted to consume alcohol.”

The University acknowledges that:

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism college students face dire consequences due to high alcohol consumption. These estimates include:1,825 traditional aged college students  (between the ages of 18 and 24) die each year due to alcohol-related injuries; 696,000 are assaulted by a peer who has been drinking; 97,000 students are victims of an alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape; 400,000 students had unprotected sex, and more than 100,000 students report to being too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex, and more than 150,000 develop an alcohol-related health problem. (2009).

The widespread use of high-tech fake IDs by students that can be used to purchase alcohol is a major obstacle in enforcing the laws that govern under-aged drinking and the University’s policy.

There is something wrong here. Drunken law students at the Homecoming Parade, football games where forbidden booze is smuggled into Bryant Denny stadium and drunken revelry at fraternity houses that would put Bacchus to shame are indicative of a Campus Booze Culture.

The theme for 2017’s Homecoming at the University of Alabama is “Sweet Home Capstone.” The  lyrics of the  Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Sweet Home Alabama”, which is played during football games, contain the words  “Does your conscience bother you, tell the truth.”

Perhaps the seemingly unconscionable toleration of inebriation on campus by the University of Alabama’s administration is part of the problem?

There are steps that the University could take to curb the illegal use of alcohol by students, including making the use of fake IDs an expellable offense and more aggressive policing of campus activities where alcohol is served.

But on a campus where students were offered booze to vote in a local school board election for a Machine affiliated candidate that’s not likely to happen.

 

 

Standard

Faking it at Bama!

drinks-BW

A Tuscaloosa police officer said that one major difficulty in enforcing laws that govern the legal age for drinking are the fake ID cards that can be purchased online for about $300. He said that more fake IDs are collected by local bars than by law enforcement officers. Dozens are confiscated on a weekly basis in Tuscaloosa. Some of the IDs can even fool scanners. The fine for having a fake ID has recently been increased by $100. The Tuscaloosa Police Department is currently working with the University of Alabama to curb the use of fake IDs.

In some states penalties for the use of fake IDs can include not only fines but imprisonment. USA Today College‘s article “Fake IDs can be a real problem” by Eliza Collins reported:

In Ohio, possession of a fraudulent ID can earn six months in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.

Possession of a fake Illinois driver’s license or ID card is punishable by up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines, according to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. Knowingly lending a real ID to someone else can earn the lender up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines.

Collins wrote that Her Campus found that 54.5% of readers surveyed had or currently have a fake ID.

alabama-id

Online businesses such as CHFake.com claim that their product is foolproof:

We invite you before ordering to please read our website and take a close look at our fake ID images and video. Especially if you are looking for REAL reviews we have news video posted and links to news articles regarding our website. Usually the article never will mention us by name (to not help the reader buy fake id), but know we are the ONLY site truly located in China where each article doing an undercover order was made from us. Unfortunately, online many anonymous posts with zero proof bash us and every fake id selling site. We urge you to read this blog (click it) that has been online since 2008. This blogger broke a story which we have known for sometime and that is a horrible trap online for new uniformed ID makers and fake id buyers. Sadly, the internet is full of convincing fake anonymous good and bad reviews about fake id sites. All it has done is confuse you the customers who actually just need a good place to buy a fake id. We can only point you to real fake id news reviews and let you be the judge to believe anonymous posts or news video and articles. We do promise our fake ids are the best, cloned to perfection, and are correctly scannable ids.

Tuscaloosa has a problem with both restaurants in bars that cater to University of Alabama students. Most University students are minors. Many of the establishments in downtown Tuscaloosa have a clientele that consists largely of students. There is a legal loophole that allows nineteen and twenty year-olds to enter bars. Even diligently carding patrons may not be effective in preventing minors from buying liquor.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism described the conditions where alcohol abuse is more likely to occur:

Students attending schools with strong Greek systems and with prominent athletic programs tend to drink more than students at  other types of schools. In terms of living arrangements, alcohol consumption is highest among students living in fraternities and

sororities and lowest among commuting students who live with their families.

Alcohol Policy MD has described the problem in enforcing regulations on alcohol use:

In many states throughout the country, minors – those under the legal drinking age of 21 – are permitted in bars unaccompanied by an adult. State and local regulations vary widely in the extent to which they permit minors to enter on-sale retail alcohol outlets

One thing is clear: allowing minors into drinking establishments such as bars and nightclubs is, in the words of one enforcement official, “a regulator’s nightmare.” (Inspector General 1991). It creates numerous difficulties for servers, who must conduct repeated identification checks and continuously track who is actually drinking the beverages being served. It allows minors to consume alcohol purchased from older individuals. And it encourages minors to drink as a way to socialize and become one with their peers.

Underage college drinkers are more likely than their of-age counterparts to suffer consequences ranging from unplanned sex, getting hurt or injured, requiring medical treatment for an alcohol overdose, and doing something they would later regret.  (Wechsler et al. 2000)  These problems often have impacts not just on the drinkers, but on fellow students and area residents as well.

 

Fake IDs are a major problem in Tuscaloosa. Students who can spend hundreds of dollars on an undetectable, state of the art ID in order to illegally drink would likely not be deterred by fines. And they don’t face imprisonment, as is the case in some states.

Perhaps one way to curtail the use of fake IDs would be for the University of Alabama to impose a “one strike and you’re out” rule where any student caught with a fake ID would be automatically expelled.

Standard

T-Town’s “Entertainment District”

StateCollegePA1970s_2500

Tuscaloosa in September made its downtown area into a “Downtown T-Town Fall Entertainment District”. Until the end of September, according to Jason Morton’s article in The Tuscaloosa News, “visitors will be allowed to move with an open beverage of alcohol throughout much of the downtown area without running afoul of any laws.”

The Entertainment District was extended by one weekend by the City Council in its first October meeting, with the option of extending the open carrying of alcohol in the downtown area  through the rest of the year.

Lincoln, Nebraska is taking a look at alcohol consumption at tail gating activities.

In The Daily Nebraskan, Emily Morrow reported:

The City of Lincoln’s Internal Liquor Committee is partnering with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a tailgate tour before the Nebraska football game against Wisconsin on Oct. 7.

ILC chair Carl Eskridge said the committee is responsible for collecting data regarding alcohol consumption from a variety of places, including the Lincoln Police Department, UNL Police Department and local businesses.

The reasoning behind the tour is to collect data from the tailgates like they would from bars on gamedays, according to Eskridge. The committee does this by recording the number of people drinking along with each person’s age and gender.

Eskridge said the committee’s main focus is primarily to observe tailgating at locations such as parking lots and the North Bottoms.

Linda Major, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at UNL, is responsible for facilitating a broader conversation between campus and community regarding how the campus responds to high-risk drinking. She has been on the ILC since its founding and has arranged every tour since the first tour four years ago.

There were a couple of reasons behind the tailgate tours and bar walks, said Major. One reason was that they were asking a certain generation of people to make decisions about an environment they never saw, she said.

Another major reason was the Indian Center’s involvement in gamedays, Eskridge said. In past years, many people would go to the Indian Center to park and party.

Three years ago, the situation escalated after more than a dozen tailgaters were arrested after becoming disorderly. As a result, the Indian Center board shut down its gameday activities due to pressure from the city.

The North Bottoms has become a scene for tailgating. Major said the area is not just a college neighborhood, so the alcohol-related activity going on there is disrupting permanent residents.

Will Tuscaloosa have officers patrolling the downtown area who are looking for under aged drinkers or should minors in the downtown area not be concerned about running afoul of the law? Will the city have any legal liability over alcohol use by minors?

 

Standard