Forum For Future Event Policy

The Student Government Association and Residential Life held a forum on Sunday, April 7 in Persson Auditorium to discuss a revised proposal about event registration. The forum offered students an opportunity to provide their feedback about the proposal before it is submitted to Dean of the College Suzy Nelson for approval later this week.

A committee was formed in response to the widespread student opposition to the initial proposal, which was presented six to eight weeks ago by Director of Residential Life Brenda Ice.

“There was a lot of student concern that there wasn’t a lot of student involvement in that proposal. So the [Dean of the College] and Brenda [Ice], who’s the chair of this committee, thought it would make sense to involve more interested students, take the time to talk through bigger questions and come to a consensus between students, faculty and administration, so that we can move forward with this change,” Committee Member senior Ron Iazzetti said. “Because I think everyone realized that change was needed, it was just a matter of figuring out what the best change is.”

According to Committee Member junior James Speight, students responded to the initial proposal with an SGA-approved proposal, which prompted the merge of both students and administration in forming a committee that would create a comprehensive proposal.

“Both of those proposals ended up being very similar, which is why this has been a pretty productive working group,” Committee Member senior Scott Marschall said.

“The committee was … just taking the time to slow down the process and get more student input on [the original proposal] to make sure it’s actually a reasonable and realistic plan,” committee member senior Ali Berkman said.

The committee cited its goals as the prioritization of safety, the encouragement of healthy drinking, the outlining of the process for hosting social events with fees and social inclusivity.

The proposal defined a process for registering events that categorizes events into tiers, with each tier specifying different requirements.

Tier 1 applies to events with fewer than 25 people, or “welcome members,” meaning that guests have access to the house through their Gate Card. Tier 1 events require hosts to give the University notification 24 hours before the event and take a brief online training course.

Tier 2 events are open to fewer than 65 people and require the hosts to notify the University 48 hours in advance as well as take a social host training course with Assistant Director of the Counseling Center and Coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Services Jane Jones. These events are still considered private as they are by personal invitation only. The University asks that a reasonable amount of nonalcoholic beverages and food be served.

Tier 3 events are comprised of more than 65 people and have no cap on guests, except for adherence to the building’s fire code. Hosts must notify the University 48 hours in advance and be certified by Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS), which is a program that trains participants how to responsibly serve, sell and consume alcohol.

The University would provide wristbands for guests who are under 21 years of age, and Campus Safety officials would come to the event before it started to ensure that nonalcoholic beverages are provided and the amount of available alcohol is reasonable given the number of expected guests.

Tier 4 is for catered events and follows the current policy. Hosts must be TIPS and Event Management certified and must notify the University six weeks before the event.

According to the committee, the University will make training more accessible than it is currently, and while there is an emphasis on Greek students obtaining training now, it will be offered to all students. Organizations will be allowed to register events four nights per week.

The emphasis on organizations notifying the University beforehand is for issues of liability.

The committee hopes that preliminary checks by Campus Safety officials will create a better relationship between Campus Safety and the organizations that are hosting events.

After the committee presented the key points of its proposal, it opened the forum to the many students in attendance, who posed questions, offered suggestions and discussed concerns. There were no administrators present.

According to the committee, it presented the proposal to the Student Senate on Tuesday, met on Wednesday to finalize the draft and then will present it to Nelson for approval in late April.

Nelson emailed a link to a Reddit forum page that will allow students to provide their feedback and facilitate an online discussion.

Because the change is in procedure, not policy, it can be implemented immediately after approval and will hopefully be in effect Fall 2013.