November 22, 2013
18th Street Commons offers more freedomsSusquehanna is not a dry campus, but rather one committed to ensuring that its students use alcohol safely and legally.
As such, Susquehanna's alcohol policy remains mutable, allowing policy changes that seek to benefit the students and the community.
One of this year's changes involves a different alcohol policy in the new 18th Street Commons housing complex, giving many 21-year-old students the ability to now drink alcohol in their common areas.
Jenna Antoniewicz, director of community standards and student conduct explains that 18th Street Commons is an area of transitional housing, meant to aid students in becoming full-fledged adults.
To this end, Susquehanna tries to provide residents with more opportunities to take on responsibility.
Residents of 18th Street Commons get a taste of apartment-style living, while still reaping the benefits of on-campus housing. They get their own kitchens, the ability to forgo meal plans and, provided that everyone is 21, they may drink alcohol in the common areas.
Zachary Barker, a Head Resident in 18th Street Commons, said, "From [the students'] standpoint, we're trusting them more."
This change in policy in no way signifies that "anything goes" in 18th Street Commons. If one person in a given apartment is underage, drinking in communal areas is still prohibited.
In that case, the policy for this particular apartment becomes the same as it is for every other residence hall.
As stated in the student handbook: anyone over the age of 21 may drink in the privacy of their own room, provided that their roommate is also of age. They can even leave their door open.
Policy makers chose 18th Street Commons to implement this change primarily because of demographics.
The majority of the 18th Street Commons' residents are seniors, whereas most of the other residence halls have a population with students of various ages.
"For anyone under 21, [the new policy] doesn't really affect them," Barker said.
Students older than 21 in 18th Street Commons must still adhere to strict guidelines.
No one may engage in dangerous behaviors involving alcohol, including but not limited to: drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, using kegs, punch bowls, "gin buckets" or other shared containers for alcoholic beverages, playing drinking games or fermenting one's own alcohol.
Public Safety reserves the right to search an apartment if they believe residents are engaging in unsafe practices.
"I think SU has our best interests in mind," said senior and current resident of 18th Street Commons Maeve Kirby.
She added that the policy allows residents over the age of 21 to "enjoy the experiences that college has to offer in a safe environment."