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Changes to alcohol policy afford seniors more flexibility

September 21, 2018

Two revisions to Bowdoin’s Alcohol Policy aim to ensure compliance with state and federal laws while affording more privileges to older students. The two primary changes address event registration and discussions around outdoor events.

Before the revisions were made, the policy required all events to be registered with the Office of Residential Life by noon on Thursday, either one or two days before the event would take place. The revisions, however, allow students who are at least 21 years of age and have completed Alcohol-host training to register a party of 20 or fewer guests online by 9 p.m. on the evening of the event. The event must take place in the suite of the person who is registering it, and the host has to disclose how much alcohol they plan to serve.

These changes draw a distinction between the protocol surrounding larger events at College Houses and smaller gatherings that take place in upperclassmen housing.

“We understand that there are times when there may be more of a last-minute gathering or a smaller gathering,” said Mike Ranen, the new director of residential and student life and associate dean of student affairs. “We also understand that as you progress through Bowdoin, we want to afford you more responsibility as well. We think the seniors, especially, in terms of hosting events, should deserve some more freedom.”

With respect to outdoor events, Ranen acknowledged that these conversations were somewhat more complicated, because outdoor events have a greater potential to constitute a disturbance to the surrounding community.

“We want the students to be able—we’re talking once or twice a year—to use some outdoor spaces,” said Ranen. “If they’re serving alcohol, they would need professional bartending staff there.”

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