Once-Dry University Of Kentucky Relaxes Drinking Policy

The University of Kentucky is considering allowing alcohol on some parts of campus in order to manage student drinking.

Once-Dry University Of Kentucky Relaxes Drinking Policy
Wikimedia Commons / Seicer

The University of Kentucky is currently a dry campus, but that might be about to change. In order to address the issue of student drinking, the university is considering relaxing its alcohol policy and allowing drinks on some regions of campus.

Kentucky became a dry campus in 1997 when it banned alcohol from its Greek institutions in an attempt to curb wild on-campus parties. But a review by the school found that banning alcohol from campus simply shifted the parties and drinking off campus.

The results are most visible during the annual NCAA postgame riots, when thousands of rowdy students flood the streets of Lexington to celebrate their team's victories. Past celebrations have included couch burnings, dozens of arrests, and at least one nonfatal shooting. (Via YouTube / Hambone7217, ABC)

A university spokesman told WTVQ this kind of behavior leads to complaints from the community. "They've had concerns about things like the alcohol policy where alcohol seems to have been pushed off campus and is causing issues."

Which is why the university is now revamping the school's alcohol policy. In addition to allowing some legal drinking on campus, Kentucky is expected to expand its student Code of Conduct to cover off-campus infractions, and focus on community outreach around the university.

University President Eli Capilouto said in a statement, "Our first priority is the safety of our students and the community we serve. ... At the same time, we want to build on the strong relationships we have with our neighbors and the broader community." (Via Lexington Herald-Leader)

Although relaxing campus drinking rules might seem like a counterproductive way to handle student drinking, one researcher told Time"The thought was that you could monitor this, that it was a more controlled environment. ... Allowing more drinking on campus may be a way for universities to regain some of that control."

And many of the students are certainly on-board. "They want to enjoy their drinks in their room where they're safe and they're not going out off-campus to go to parties and then having to walk home drunk." (Via WKYT)

The changes are expected to go into effect by the start of fall semester.