Students suggest easing alcohol rules


Brandon Zeris, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt-Johnstown Student Government Association members have approved revamped alcohol rules to propose to Pitt-Oakland Judicial Affairs, eliminating certain restrictions to make Pitt-Johnstown’s policy closer to Pennsylvania law.

Student Government Secretary Alexis Prusick said that campus officials shouldn’t limit how much alcohol someone can buy because state law doesn’t.

The proposed rule changes modify two restrictions and eliminate another for those 21 and older, according to Parliamentarian Christian Woo.

The current alcohol rules restrict non-resident guests and commuter students, regardless of age, from taking alcohol to residence halls. The rules also prevent residents of one building from taking alcohol to other residence halls.

The proposed rules allow those same people to take alcohol to residence halls as long as it’s registered with a resident director, resident assistant or campus police, Woo said.

Current rules also prohibit alcohol sealed in glass containers, but Woo said the proposed ruleswould allow glass containers.

“We want students to have more options when they buy alcohol,” Woo said.

Prusick said that the current rules create a problem because students are less likely to register their alcohol.

“We saw firsthand that alcohol wasn’t being registered for the simple fact that the specified bottles were too hard to come by,” Prusick said.

The final change eliminates quantity restrictions, which prohibit students from purchasing as much alcohol as they want, according to Prusick.

“We just want to keep our campus in line with state laws,” she said. “The state doesn’t limit how much alcohol a 21-year-old buys, so why should our school?”

Student Government President Cliff Maloney said Pitt-Johnstown administrators have the proposed rule changes and are to review them before they’re finalized and sent to Pitt-Oakland for assessment.

Woo said that different, less rule changes were originally written, but, after a meeting with the Student Government Executive Board, a decision was made to make bigger changes.

“We got into a broader talk and asked ourselves, ‘Why do we have (alcohol related rules) to begin with?’ The student body doesn’t want limits on quantity … if the state of Pennsylvania thinks we are responsible enough, why can’t our college?”

The original rules will serve as a backup in case the more drastic changes are shot down by Pitt-Oakland administrators, according to Woo.

The backup rules would increase the number of beer cans a student can register in a given week from 12 to 15. Every 14 days each student could also register 750 milliliters of alcohol, doubling the previous amount and timeframe, Woo said.

Like the original proposed rules, the backup rules remove a glass-bottle limitation, Woo said.

Maloney said rules are necessary but one with fewer restrictions are needed.

“The proposal would articulate an environment more closely related to the real world,” he said.