The trend at many top colleges and universities these days is to ban the serving of hard alcohol at on-campus parties, and in the wake of the highly publicized Brock Turner case this year, Stanford is further expanding their prohibition to include the possession of standard-sized bottles of hard alcohol in students' rooms. 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.
Stanford already banned hard alcohol, including shots and mixed drinks, at most on-campus undergraduate events, as noted over a year ago on Fusion, allowing only beer and wine to be served. But the updated alcohol policy, arriving just as Stanford students are arriving back on campus, makes it against the rules to have 750-milliliter bottles (fifths) of alcohol that are 40 proof or above in undergraduate housing. The strange logic here, according to campus booze czar Ralph Castro, is that it's harder to assemble a huge bar in one's room if it's all made of pint bottles, and therefore it will make it harder for students to binge drink. "Our intention is not a total prohibition of a substance," says Castro, "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."
Also, university administrators believe that it's harder for students to find liquor stores that sell smaller bottles, like pints, because places like Safeway don't do that?
As of now, hard alcohol will only be permitted at on-campus events hosted by membership organizations composed of 100 percent graduate students.
The empirical studies he's referring to may include this one from 2001, out of Harvard, about the impact of campus alcohol bans. That reports is a bit problematic because it focused in part on schools that had total prohibitions on drinking, including beer and wine, but it found a correlation between banning alcohol and lower rates of heavy drinking though they admitted that could be due "to other factors, such as self-selection of students to these schools [where all alcohol is banned]."
It should be noted that the alcohol that Brock Turner blamed for the sexual assault he was convicted of likely was not condoned at the time, or being served with the university's blessing, since they had strict controls on hard alcohol going back at least a couple of years.
Not to mention, it is quite possible to black out on beer. But I digress. And I wouldn't know.