Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University today announced a new University policy effectively banning alcohol possession and consumption in campus housing areas.
The policy targets underage drinking and irresponsible drinking on campus in order to provide a safe environment for all. As of noon Thursday, no alcohol can be consumed or possessed in University campus housing areas.
Consumption of alcohol by individuals 21 years of age or older will be allowed at the Coal Ben, a restaurant-style eatery, and authorized University events.
Benedictine University President William J. Carroll, Ph.D., called the change in policy a necessary next step in the University’s pledge to ensure the safety and well-being of its student body and campus community.
“Benedictine University is grounded in the values of its founders, among which is living in community and concern for the other. Out of the utmost concern and care for our students, the University, with support of its deans, senior leadership, the Department of Athletics, the Office of Student Life and the Alumni Association Board of Directors, has agreed to immediately enact an alcohol ban in campus housing areas,” Carroll said.
“With this new policy, the University seeks to be proactive in safeguarding our community and dealing with an admittedly challenging situation that many college campuses deal with – underage drinking and alcohol abuse.”
This new policy will be enforced through severe penalties for violators, including those of legal drinking age.
Students will have until 10:00 p.m. Friday, September 27, 2013 to bring their campus dwellings into compliance. Any students found to be in violation of the alcohol policy will be cited by the University Police, which will initiate a Code of Conduct Policy violation, ending the student’s residency rights and requiring removal from University Housing. A student’s academic status will not be affected, only their right to remain an on-campus resident. However, student campus residents are also responsible for their guests.
Carroll said he invites University parents and all students 21 and older to dialogue and design a realistic alcohol policy which could be adopted in the future.
“The policy is not meant to be punitive to young adults of legal drinking age but to provide a preventive and supportive environment for those vulnerable to alcohol abuse,” Carroll added
Marco Masini, vice president for Student Life at Benedictine, stated his office works hand-in-hand with University Police and administrators to identify at-risk students and help enforce policies that are in place for the well-being of the student body.
“The Office of Student Life and the University Police Department have actively been engaging its student body in person and through its social media campaigns (Sobering Moments) to help students identify situations involving alcohol that may put the student or others at risk for harm,” Masini said.
The Coal Ben, which will continue to allow limited, monitored alcohol consumption, will be the sanctioned site for alcohol purchase and consumption by students 21 and older and for student-based social gatherings for adults 21 and older. An armband restriction protocol will be enacted for Coal Ben and other sanctioned social gatherings where alcohol is served and students under 21 will be present.
Carroll said the ban will apply to all of its campuses (Springfield, Ill., Mesa, Ariz.) and will be implemented for an indefinite period of time.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.