Breaking: GUSA announces change in open container policy

IMG_6155Congratulations, Henle and Village A—you’re now part of a test program to see if students really can “enjoy responsibly.”

As of this week, the open container policy has been changed to allow open containers in the publicly shared spaces in Village A and Henle. In groups of roughly 15 or smaller, students will be allowed to congregate in the barbecue area in Village A or the courtyard in Henle, for instance, and sip on beer or wine.

The reason why these areas were targeted is because they’re off the beaten path, unlike the Village B courtyard, for instance, which has a fairly steady stream of pedestrian traffic.

If the new policy is successful, the changes will be expanded to include public spaces in Nevils, LXR, and Village B. There aren’t specific parameters yet as to how the policy’s success will be measured. “In the words of [DPS Chief] Jay Gruber, ‘no news is good news’,” said GUSA President Nate Tisa (SFS ’14). In other words, as long as this policy changes doesn’t bring DPS any extra headaches, it’ll be allowed to stay.

This change in policy is targeted at of-age students living on campus, although the details are fuzzy as to how that will be determined. If it’s “obvious” that there are underage drinkers present, DPS will use its authority to take down GOCard numbers in order to determine if a student is underage or not, although Tisa assured Vox that random carding won’t be the norm.

GUSA worked with the Office of Residential Life and DPS in order to work on this change, as part of a wider effort to make living on-campus more attractive to upperclassmen. Paired with the designs for the new dorm, the lift of the limit on kegs, the elimination of party registration, it is clear that the administration is pursuing an aggressive strategy in centering student life on campus. “We tried to imagine the campus that upperclassmen would want, and this change is part of that,” said Tisa. 

Having an open container in a public area is still illegal in the rest of the District, so don’t go taking liberties. Of course, the University, as private property, can more or less do what it wants.

Photo: Julia Tanaka/Georgetown Voice

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