Bars react to party regulations

The International Student Organization held a party at Oaxaca Kitchen Saturday night without any problems.
The International Student Organization held a party at Oaxaca Kitchen Saturday night without any problems. Photo by Sarah Sullivan.

Since administrators instituted stricter regulations on off-campus parties this August, some local clubs and businesses are refusing to host student events.

In an effort to comply with the new policies, which require students to register all off-campus parties expected to draw more than 50 students, 168 York Street Café and Thali Too have recently rejected student groups’ requests to host parties in their facilities. Joe Goodwin, manager of 168 York Street Café, said he turned several student groups away from his venue because Yale’s new regulations “sent a clear message about drinking off-campus” to New Haven restaurants. Still, several establishments, including Oaxaca Kitchen at 228 College St., are continuing to hold parties for undergraduates.

When the new off-campus party regulations were initially announced, John Meeske, associate dean for student organizations and physical resources, told the News that the policy is “largely” intended to address underage drinking. “We abide by whatever the University imposes,” Goodwin said. “It’s very cut-and-dry — if [underage] students want to come in to drink and party, that’s not going to happen.”

Goodwin said he began to think more harshly about state laws on alcohol consumption after the University released its new policies for off-campus parties. While in the past the club hosted “parties with cocktail-hour food and mixers” for student organizations, now only patrons over the age of 21 are allowed into the club’s grounds during late-night hours.

But University administrators said they had no involvement in the club’s policy change. Meeske said the University has not officially communicated with local bars.

“We trust local bars to obey the Connecticut laws, so they are a very good place for students to hold events,” Meeske said.

Carl Carbone, a managing partner at Box 63 on Elm Street, said the venue adopted a “more aggressive approach” to the issue of underage drinking after the University implemented its new policy.

Starting this fall, Carbone said, staff at the bar have started to scan all patrons’ IDs and monitor the bar on the second floor of the late-night hotspot to ensure no underage individuals sneak into the establishment. While Carbone confirmed that he was never officially approached by the University, he said he was involved in informal discussions with police officers and administrators.

“It is clear that the University frowns upon businesses that serve alcohol to students,” Carbone said.

Despite some bars’ efforts to enforce stricter alcohol policies, several student organizations hosted events at off-campus venues this weekend.

The International Student Organization held a party at Oaxaca Kitchen Saturday night and the Yale International Relations Association hosted an event Friday at Kudeta on Temple Street. ISO President Carl Sandberg ’14 and YIRA Executive Director Sophia Clementi ’14 could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The off-campus party regulations were announced to students in an Aug. 10 email.

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