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Stanford Bans Hard Liquor from Parties – A Response

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Oh, Stanford University, out in sunny California and known as one of the world’s leading research universities. So prestigious in its admissions process that their acceptance rate is down to 4.69 percent. Stanford has most recently been in the media for its infamous rape case of the People v. Brock Turner. Yes, that a**hole.

If you haven’t heard about it here’s the cliffsnotes version:

The victim, who has remained nameless, was raped while unconscious behind a dumpster at a Stanford party, only to be saved by two international cyclist students that saw Turner in the act, and caught him and called the police after he tried to run away.  The judge on the case sentenced him to six months in county jail and three years’ probation because it would be “too hard” on him.

Stanford University released a statement on June 6, 2016 that Turner was not to step foot on Stanford’s campus, “as a student or otherwise.” They claim that they took all actions possible to help the victim and give the information needed to further along the case. However according to the Stanford Daily, the way this case was handled was an exception.

Stanford’s Administrative Guide states that sexual assault is when a person in incapacitated, including when a person is “under the influence of an anesthetizing or intoxicating substance” to the point of incapacitation. Which is interesting in regards to Stanford’s latest policy in the wake of their upcoming school year post Brock Turner case.

In a new policy announced on August 22, 2016 by Stanford president John L. Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy, “Stanford University has updated its student alcohol policy to prohibit high-volume distilled liquor containers for all undergraduate and coterminal students living in undergraduate housing.” The new policy then goes on to say that “Beer and wine are the only alcoholic beverages that can be present at all on-campus undergraduate student parties.”



So, no hard alcohol after Turner alleged that his actions were due to alcohol consumption? Wait, it gets better.

It’s not that they’re banning liquor all together. It’s that they are banning anything above 750 mL and more. Meaning anything above a pint, and drinks must be kept in original containers. Their reasoning? “Large volume containers 750 mL and above… have the capacity to deliver many more shots of hard alcohol than smaller-volume containers.” Said Ralph Castro, the director of the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE).  Basically they just want to limit the amount of shots these students take, and they believe that students will not want to pay more money for less shots.

Personally, being 5’3”, 375mL of liquor aka 8.46 shots is more than enough to get me drunk. Maybe even past that.

But what’s interesting is that these officials are trying to act as if hard liquor is the root of many problems. I mean, have they never heard of wine drunk? Get me a box of Franzia and I’ll be on the same level as a “fifth” of liquor. What about beer drunk? Beer is relatively cheaper than liquor and easier to distribute within college crowds. Hand a can to just about anyone and then one can turns into two. And then three. And then eight by the end of the night. Yeah it’ll take longer, but if these students worked hard to be within the 4.69 percent of students admitted, they’ll work hard to party hard.

In reality, alcohol is not the excuse for any poor behavior. Alcohol is NEVER an excuse for raping a man or woman. So no matter what the drink is, whether it be Hennessy or a 40, if a student commits sexual assault while under the influence it’s just that; sexual assault.


Say it for what it is and hold your students accountable for their actions. In a generation of “Baby Boomers” that continuously critiques the Millennial generation of being coddled, you all sure don’t hold those accountable for these crimes that emotionally and physically scar their victims. And contrary to Jamie Foxx and T-Pain, do NOT blame it on the alcohol.

Jessica is a Theatre Major with a concentration in Costume Design. Although design is her passion, she loves writing and is so glad to be a part of Her Campus VCU. She hopes you enjoy her writing as much as she enjoys writing it.
Keziah is a writer for Her Campus. She is majoring in Fashion Design with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. HCXO!