Revision of alcohol policy calls for changes to UIndy events and living

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A revised alcohol policy was introduced by the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees this past fall. In October, a policy was proposed and passed that allows alcohol to be served at approved on-campus events. Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli explained the policy.

“There’s a committee that reviews all the alcohol requests that come in, and there are certain safety and security criteria that have to be met in order for alcohol to be served at the event,” she said.

The committee that approves these events consists of faculty and administration, according to Vitangeli. The committee looks for several things in order to approve an event. There must be security, an authorized vendor and bracelets for individuals who are 21 and older. And it is intended for events where it is appropriate to have one drink, Vitangeli said. Only beer and wine will be permitted.

The revised policy is also a change for some housing units. Vitangeli said students who are of drinking age, who will be living in Greyhound Village this fall, will be allowed to have alcohol in their individual apartments. She said students cannot walk around with alcohol, but it is a change.

“The university does not have a liquor license, you know. If we approve an event to have alcohol, then we use an approved alcohol vendor. They supply the license. They supply the insurance. So there are steps and procedures for people to use,” Vitangeli said. “But basically what the board passed was the ability for an approval to be given for certain events to have alcohol, but it’s not this carte blanche change in policy.”

The current UIndy Student Handbook states, “Programming in residence halls and at other events is designed to teach abstinence and the safe consumption of alcohol to those who are allowed by law to consume it.” Up until last October, alcohol was permitted only in the President’s house, the Stierwalt Alumni House and the lobby of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, according to Vitangeli. Other than those areas, alcohol historically has been prohibited on campus.

The upcoming Red for Riley gala recently received approval for its application to have alcohol served at the event. Red for Riley applied a few months ago, according to nursing major Katherine Spencer, who organized the event. Spencer said that she worked with Director of Student Activities Stephanie Barry a lot throughout the brainstorming process.

“It was close to finals, toward the end of  November, that I met with Steph Barry for the last time, and she said that the university was thinking about changing their alcohol policy and all this, and that having it on-campus might be an option if we were willing to be the guinea pig,” Spencer said.

Spencer completed a proposal that includes every single monetary expenditure for the event. She said Red for Riley allocated for UIndy police to function as security. The proposal also indicated how the night would go, that there would be door prizes and raffle tickets given to every attendant and that extra raffle tickets would be sold.

“They’re [Red for Riley] having a gala, and they did a really good job of filling out their application,” Vitangeli said. “It’s a two-drink maximum. People will be carded. Campus police will be there. It will be an outside bartending service that’s serving. So we felt like they did a really good job of thinking [it] through. They wanted to have a nice, formal event, and we felt like they really had taken the steps to have an upscale event.”

Spencer said she thinks that the change to the alcohol policy opens a lot of opportunities, not just for the students to come together, but for the alumni as well. The Red for Riley gala will take place on Friday, April 29, from 8 to 11 p.m.

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