UK ends dry spell with new alcohol policy



Ella Wilkie

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Change comes in various forms, and this summer it swept through UK with a particular shift in policy regarding alcohol.

UK has been a dry campus since 1988. The term “dry” refers to the prevention of consumption and vending of any alcoholic beverage on university grounds and/or university sponsored events.

UK took a step towards becoming a wet campus with a Board of Trustees vote after long deliberation and under certain provisions, which means it is now considered a “moist” campus.

Like every other state in the U.S., Kentucky law determines the consumption of alcohol under the legal age of 21 is unlawful. UK officials say they intend to obey all state laws concerning underage association with alcohol under this new policy, but being a moist campus does not mean that the use of alcohol is allowed.

UK’s alcohol policy still bans it from on-campus housing, classrooms and other facilities, including all Greek housing on and off campus.

“It seems to be a change for the better in my opinion,” said Luke Beisner,  a marketing and management junior. “I would say that attempting to suppress the use of alcohol only makes things worse.”

The change in policy entails several stipulations, and Ashley Murray, a marketing and Spanish sophomore, is concerned it won’t be enough to make a splash.

“The idea of a wet campus is good but they can’t expect people to be okay with more restrictions in a technically more liberating situation on paper,” Murray said.“(The policy) sets people up for false hope, which is angering, and makes people uncooperative.”

Events providing alcohol will need to be discussed with UK officials and receive authorization to continue with the event — these events are required to be invite only, held at a designated or approved venue and have a majority of its participants be over the age of 21. Organizations that wish to provide alcohol at events must follow all Kentucky state laws and regulations.

Beisner said the relaxed policy towards alcohol — although still strict — allows students to feel safe when drinking at university functions where it is permitted.

Many students took advantage of this policy change in an area known as the “Bowl” near Commonwealth Stadium before the Kentucky Wildcats’ football season began on Saturday.

Though the policy does not address the “Bowl” specifically, it states the “areas surrounding Commonwealth Stadium for home football games” are permitted to have alcohol, provided they are “(compliant) with all applicable Kentucky laws, local ordinances and University regulations.”