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Stanford just banned mixed drinks and shots from on-campus parties


Aaron Persky as the California judge who sentenced a Stanford athlete Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious 23-year-old woman behind a dumpster.Credit

Also Monday, Stanford University officials announced a ban on hard liquor at undergraduate on-campus parties.

The penalty for violating the bans will be administrative action meted out by the university’s residence deans and OAPE, according to an FAQ from the university. As The Atlantic reports, Stanford’s Office of Alcohol Policy and Education is framing this is as a “harm reduction strategy”, even though it sounds like a virtually unenforceable one. “Our intention is not a total prohibition of a substance, but rather a targeted approach that limits high-risk behavior and has the backing of empirical studies on restricting the availability of and access to alcohol”.

“Among the concerns we hear are that some students drink alcohol as a means to overcome social anxiety and others feel alienated by their peers’ drinking, sometimes to the extent that they do not feel welcome in their own houses or organizations”, he wrote.

Stanford has been under scrutiny for its campus drinking culture and its relationship to sexual assault in recent months after a student, 20-year-old Brock Turner, was convicted in March of sexually assaulting a woman outside a fraternity party last year.

Stanford is following in the footsteps of schools like Bates, Bowdoin, Colby and Notre Dame, which have had alcohol bans for at least six years.

Dartmouth banned hard liquor entirely at the beginning of 2015, while the University of Virginia established rules limiting hard liquor at large Greek parties to events with a hired bartender. “I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school”.

In a letter that went viral, the woman Turner assaulted repeatedly pointed out that drinking was not Turner’s crime: It was assault.

“I challenge you not to focus on the policy as something to be worked around”, Boardman pleaded. She described the assault in graphic detail and said her “independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition”. “Why am I still explaining this”.

On Twitter, two Stanford professors expressed frustration with the announcement of the alcohol policy change, specifically that it was announced in the wake of sexual assaults but addresses drinking instead of consent. Some say Stanford needs to focus more on rape culture than drinking culture.

Such reductions are not unheard of, but in Chain’s case, it would have come a year earlier than a probation officer recommended and has been cited by Persky’s critics as an example of his unwarranted leniency toward sex offenders.

Judge Aaron Persky was supposed to decide this week whether to lighten the conviction of a plumber who was in possession of child pornography, reports the LA Times.

The judge at the center of a controversial sentence involving Brock Turner, a former Stanford student convicted of sexual assault, has recused himself from making a decision in another sex case.

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