Adding wet to the dry

Of-age students came close to saying goodbye to drunken walks up the Main St. hill.Last Wednesday, Erik Graham, the Chair of Student Advocacy for UVM’s Inter-Residence Association (IRA), attempted to pass a resolution supporting the conversion of the UVM campus from dry to wet. IRA voted 11-3 against the resolution.UVM was formerly a wet campus, instating a new drinking policy in 2006 to accommodate for an abnormal increase in citations of students. Graham wanted to see this change.According to the IRA legislation, alcohol consumption should not be limited to university staff on the presumption that they will be more responsible than students.The current rules create a double standard.University faculty and staff are allowed to consume alcohol in residence halls where they live, while students, who also live there, are not.   It assumes that college students, although legally considered adults, aren’t as responsible as university-employed adults.It is unfair to assume their irresponsibility.However, to deserve such legislation, students would have to be ready to accept the opportunity to show that they are responsible while not taking advantage of their new freedoms. There are also safety issues involved. “Keeping the campus dry causes residents to drink downtown or in other locations away from help which residential advisors, University Police Officers and/or other university staff could provide in the case of an emergency,” according to the resolution.Being able to remain on campus and drink is inherently safer, as the legislation states, due to ResLife’s support.This resolution should have passed with flying colors, and was backed with solid reasoning, but instead it was shot down in an 11-3 vote.”I was actually expecting people to be more in support of it. I was surprised,” IRA President Lucy Croft said.Although there are arguments against it, the University should consider allowing 21-year-olds to drink in the dorms under harsher punishment when a rule is broken.This resolution would allow those legally able to drink to have a ResLife safety net, as well as the comfort of knowing they were being treated as adults.