The Sou’wester

Administration in hot seat: alcohol, housing, transparency top students’ concerns at third RSG town hall

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Administration in hot seat: alcohol, housing, transparency top students’ concerns at third RSG town hall

The RSG logo and Barret Library

The RSG logo and Barret Library

Jordan Hulseberg '19

The RSG logo and Barret Library

Jordan Hulseberg '19

Jordan Hulseberg '19

The RSG logo and Barret Library

Alice Berry '21, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

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Rhodes Student Government hosted its third town hall of the academic year on Feb. 13. Students were able to voice their grievances about changes the administration has made to the housing and alcohol policy.

Even students who said they had read the alcohol policy sent out earlier this year reported that they did not understand its practical implications. A plurality of students believe the changes made the policy worse; only one student believed the changes had improved campus alcohol culture. PA leaders for the 2020 class said between their training and the end of Welcome Week, the alcohol policy had changed, contributing to further confusion.

“If [alcohol policy] is changing from week-to-week, it’s impossible to follow,” Senator Jacob Fontaine ’21 said.

Senator Alex Schramkowski ’20 explained the updated alcohol policy to those in attendance. Rhodes is a wet campus, so alcohol is still allowed on the grounds. Open containers are prohibited: alcohol must be kept in a thermos, reusable bottle or unlabelled cup. Alcohol cannot be brought to certain functions, such as academic ceremonies, and students cannot carry alcohol from one event where alcohol is allowed to another event where alcohol is also permissible.

When asked how the alcohol policy might be improved, a majority of students suggested allowing open containers. They feared that forbidding open containers would promote binge-drinking, whether before parties in dorms or at a particular party before students moved onto the next party. Students requested the administration specifically list what is and is not acceptable under the current policy. Furthermore, they expressed that they felt it was unfair that a student who was not drinking in a room where some students were drinking could still be punished. 

Students expressed an equal amount of confusion about the new housing policy. According to Senator Berkeley Barnett ’21, the policy is not so very different as it was in years past. Because of protests from the student body, RSG and Resident Assistants, Director of Residence Life Aretha Milligan has partially re-instituted the lottery system.

When asked if Residence Life had explained why they changed the housing policy, Barnett said that there had been numerous complaints about the housing system in years past. She also indicated that Milligan had been asked to change the policy upon being hired.

Students reported frustration that they had not been included in the decision-making process for the new housing system. If the administration is trying to get more people to live on campus all four years, they said, they are driving people off campus.

One first-year student complained her floor had been without an RA for her first semester.

Students unanimously said they were frustrated with administrative transparency. They expressed wanting to be included in the change-making process. 

About the Contributors
Alice Berry '21, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Alice Berry is the news editor of The Sou'wester. She is a sophomore Spanish and international studies double major. She has been a member of the newspaper...

Jordan Hulseberg '19, Editor-in-Chief

Jordan Hulseberg is the editor-in-chief of The Sou'wester. He is a senior philosophy major with a double minor in English and political science. He has...

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Administration in hot seat: alcohol, housing, transparency top students’ concerns at third RSG town hall