Comments from Chancellor David Scott on Alcohol Vote by State Board of Higher Education

October 14, 1997

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AMHERST, Mass. - "Today’s vote by the state Board of Higher Education to ban alcohol completely from campuses is one approach, and one that gets everyone’s attention. But, it’s not a simple fix.

"The problem of drinking is ingrained in our society. To have a positive effect, we must involve a number of people, groups, and agencies. We must work collaboratively to try to resolve some of these issues.

"We are concerned with a complete ban since it may push students to drink in surrounding towns, and cause more problems for the town.

"Nearly two weeks ago this campus started putting together a Task Force to address many of the problems surrounding alcohol use on campus. This group will contain students, faculty, administrators, town and alumni representatives to look at creative solutions to the issues surrounding alcohol use on campus and in the neighboring towns. We want to have recommendations from the Task Force within six weeks.

"We have also banned the use of alcohol at tailgating, after several years of rowdy behavior at Homecoming. This year Homecoming was a disaster waiting to happen, with a number of young people, both students and non-students, drinking and climbing on the top of trucks and vans and creating a very dangerous situation.

"We have a large, award-winning alcohol education program here, but education alone is not working. We must do more. We must get everyone involved in trying to address this issue, including the faculty, parents, bars and restaurants, the courts, and, of course, students.

"In answer to enforcement questions, we will look at every conceivable possibility. We don’t want to have policies that we may not have the resources to enforce."