The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Alcohol on campus

The University should consider making the change from a dry campus to a wet campus.

This would create a more social environment for students on campus and promote a safer drinking environment than students will encounter off campus.

Many advocates of St. John’s changing from a dry to a wet campus claim that it would prevent drunk driving, and if it’s legal for students over 21 to drink, it
should be legal for them on campus.

Others believe that the best type of residential environment is a substance-free environment. Founded in 1870 by the Vincentian Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church, St. John’s prides itself on being a Vincentian, Catholic and metropolitan institution that provides a safe and enjoyable experience, where alcohol is not promoted.

But this has not always been the case at St. John’s.

Dominic Petruzzelli, the director of Resident Life, says that when St. John’s was a commuter school years ago, alcohol was allowed and available on campus.

Petruzelli also said that the school had a bar in the UC where students could purchase alcoholic drinks. This may cause many current students to wonder if students were allowed to drink on campus back then, why can’t they drink on campus today?

Students who are 21 or older should be allowed to drink on campus in a campus bar, rather than sneaking alcohol in their dorm rooms, because a bar is a more controlled environment. Providence College, also a Catholic private college, currently has an on-campus bar that helps to keep students safe and adds to the social life.

Furthermore, a recent study at Harvard University found that two out of three universities in the U.S. are wet campuses.

Though St. John’s is a private institution, they should not deny students who are legally allowed to drink off of campus the right to drink when they are on campus, especially considering they could be resident students.

Petruzzelli said that when the school switched to a residential campus by building residents’ halls, the University decided that they wanted to change the atmosphere and that a substance-free environment was the way to go. He then went on to say that the real question that needs to be asked is “What’s the purpose of allowing alcohol on campus?”

Dominic said he understands the students reasoning for wanting to drink on campus but he doesn’t believe that there are solid reasons to change the culture that the University has already established.

While Dominic and the University are open to hearing student’s reasons why the school should move from a dry campus to a wet campus, Dominic said that the school isn’t changing anytime soon and expresses that the University is quite comfortable with the current policy.

Allowing alcohol on campus would be a positive change for the social atmosphere on campus.

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