Why People Are So Mad About Stanford's New Alcohol Policy

Photo: Brand New Images/ Getty Images.
Stanford University has updated its alcohol policy to ban hard liquor at on-campus parties, in a move that some critics are saying is an inadequate response to sexual assault.

The new policy was announced on the school’s website on Monday. It states that the school will prohibit hard liquor at on-campus parties not run by student organizations (which will be allowed to serve mixed drinks), and prohibit bottles of hard liquor larger than 750 ml, the size of a wine bottle, from all undergraduate housing. The announcement notes that alcohol possession for those under 21 years of age remains forbidden entirely.

The school said in March it was developing a new policy to confront problems such as “alcohol poisoning, sexual assault and relationship violence, organizational conduct problems, and academic problems.”

The announcement comes after a highly publicized sexual assault case, in which a former Stanford University athlete, Brock Turner, was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault. Turner, who was sentenced in June to only six months in jail, blamed his actions on alcohol and Stanford’s so-called “party culture.”
"I know I can impact and change people’s attitudes towards the culture surrounded by binge drinking and sexual promiscuity that protrudes through what people think is at the core of being a college student,” he wrote in a statement to the judge during the case. “I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk-taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school.”

The anonymous woman said in her statement, later shared publicly, that alcohol was not an excuse. “Is it a factor? Yes. But alcohol was not the one who stripped me, fingered me, had my head dragging against the ground, with me almost fully naked,” she wrote. “Sipping Fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this.”

On social media, some are saying the policy is blaming alcohol, not assailants, for sexual assault.
Advertisement
Stanford law professor and family friend of the unidentified woman, Michele Landis Dauber, told The Guardian that she believed that the new policy came as a response to the case. “Brock Turner said he was a victim of Stanford’s alcohol culture…and I believe Stanford was really stung and embarrassed,” she told the newspaper.
In an emailed statement, Lisa Ann Lapin, the associate vice president for university communications, told Refinery29 that the new policy had no connection to the Brock Turner case. "[These] conversations began long ago and have been ongoing,” she wrote.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to include a statement from Stanford University.
Advertisement
Advertisement

More from US News

1. Here At Home: Police arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead. The shooting took place...
When thinking about the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opening this weekend, the first thing that comes ...
On Saturday, police arrested a 20-year-old suspect in connection with a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead, reports The ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
The 2016 presidential election has been a captivating contest. If you feel like sometimes you can't look away, well, you're not alone. Even celebrities ...
Update: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced in a press conference that dashcam and body cam video of the department's interaction with...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
What can you do to make the candidates first head-to-head battle as pleasant as possible? What is the secret to keep yourself smizing as you listen to the ...
In the social order of bonobos, females rule and develop cross-generational bonds to keep the males in check. A senior female takes charge, intervening ...
The first presidential debate is finally upon us. On Monday, our candidates for commander-in-chief will finally go head-to-head on issues that matter ...
Update: Officer Betty Shelby, the policewoman who fatally shot Terence Crutcher last Friday, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, NBC News ...
Step aside, old-school political merch. We're way past bumper stickers and buttons. With the election just months away, people across the country are ...
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Hillary Clinton from Funny Or Die Will Tim Kaine be president for nine months if Hillary Clinton gets pregnant? ...
Goodbye, paperwork printouts and lines at the DMV. Hello, registering while in line for coffee. Starting today, you can register to vote over text ...