DOR bans beer towers


NICK FISHER, Executive Editor

Beginning this semester, the Department of Residence (DOR) has handed down some campus-wide changes to student conduct in regards to alcohol policies. Residents of Panther Village (PV) in particular are feeling the effects.

The changes are mostly “enforcement-related” in that they prohibit the presence of under-aged individuals around those of age who are consuming. According to Schmid, students must complete apartment agreements in order to have alcohol in the “shared spaces” (the common area of the apartment-style dorms) at all. But the changes also address the perceived problem of alcohol displays.

“In years’ past, there have been things like a tower of [empty] beer cans,” said David Schmid, Panther Village Residence Life Coordinator.

“Empty displays are not allowed regardless if you are of age or under-age,” reads a copy of the policy currently displayed in PV. “This is from one bottle to many. Empties are to be taken to recycling, period.”

These changes extend to all students living on campus, but some say the DOR overlooked Panther Village, the upperclass apartment-style living spaces on campus, when adopting these policies.

“[The DOR] didn’t properly consider Panther Village’s demographic,” said Garrett Ewing senior art major, referring to the empty displays article of the policy. Ewing is entering his second year living in PV.

“The empties need to go straight to the recycling,” Schmid said.

The same policy states that violation of any one of these policies “could jeopardize [one’s] ability to live in Panther Village.”

Schmid said those who live in PV must be in good academic and behavioral standing. This means that those found in violation of the conduct policy will be placed on probation and moved to a different residence hall. The PV policy reads: “because of how full the halls are, you will likely be in a traditional building with a roommate.”

Schmid said the PV policy is consistent with campus-wide policy, which was updated over the summer.

Various Department of Residence reps could not be reached for comment.

Assistant director of residence life, Erica Eichen, said that there are “no changes, but rather [polices have been] clarified.”

Attempts to reach out to resident assistants in Panther Village were declined.

Other PV residents took issue with the change.

“It shouldn’t matter if it’s empty and you’re of-age,” said Briana McDowell, senior elementary education major. This is McDowell’s second year living in PV.

Tom Draus, junior finance major and first-year resident of PV, said that he understands how empty displays could “look kind of tacky” but that this doesn’t justify the disciplinary actions that the policy puts forth.

When asked if the “empty displays” is his biggest issue with the alcohol policy changes, Ewing said: “Frankly, it shouldn’t be an in issue.”

UNI, as opposed to some other state schools such as the University of Iowa, permits the consumption of alcohol on campus under “applicable law” —- i.e., those of-age may consume alcohol responsibly in the dorms.

Heather Applegate, junior sociology major and first-year resident of PV, said this is another example of “policies of formality,” which the university adopts with no real intention of enforcing. She said they are simply adopted to cover legal ramifications.

“It’s not like they’re going to find your Patron bottle in the closet,” Applegate said.