Yale has ended its six-year-old policy requiring students to register off-campus parties attended by more than 50 people, Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar announced in an email Wednesday afternoon.
In her email, Lizarríbar said that event registration for off-campus events had been suspended as of September 2018, though she asked students planning events to “keep in mind” that the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reduction Initiative — AODHRI — is still available as a resource. The policy, which was enacted in August 2012, was designed to combat underage drinking at parties and bring off-campus parties in line with established on-campus party registration guidelines, then-Yale College Dean Mary Miller told the News in 2012.
“It just wasn’t working,” Lizarríbar said on Wednesday. “Students don’t plan their parties far enough in advance to register them.”
The old policy required students to register parties under the name of a “host,” who assumed legal responsibility for attendees. The online registration form also required the host to acknowledge Yale’s policies and Connecticut state laws prohibiting people under the age of 21 from consuming alcohol. The Dean’s Office would then pass information about registered parties to the Yale Police Department so it could observe the area.
Now, students organizing large parties off-campus will be left to their own devices — with no requirement to notify the University.
When the policy was enacted in 2012, some fraternity presidents expressed concern that the policy would unfairly affect their organizations. Representatives of Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Nu and Zeta Psi, as well as Baker’s Dozen could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
“I don’t necessarily think that they’re telling us to register so that they know where to [break up our parties],” then-President of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity Daniel Tay ’14 said, in 2012. “But we do have to be careful about giving up that sort of information because you can only do so much in a fraternity house to manage risk.”
John Meeske, Yale’s former associate dean for student organizations and physical resources, said in 2012 that if fraternities are disproportionately affected by the policy, “in a sense we wanted that — we wanted anybody who is hosting these large affairs to be affected.”
Yale College Council President Saloni Rao ’20 said on Wednesday that while she does not know whether the policy change will benefit students, she is glad Yale administrators are “taking the time to think more constructively about how to improve social spaces.”
Rao added that since more people are moving off campus and attending off-campus parties, the residential colleges are no longer the “hub of social life” for many students.
Of 10 students interviewed by the News, seven said they were not aware of the rule requiring the registration of large off-campus parties. Othmane Fourtassi ’19, who has been living off campus since last year, said he did not know about the policy before reading Lizarríbar’s email.
The undergraduate regulations currently require students to register social functions held in student rooms on campus if more than 20 guests are expected. Students must submit a party registration with their head of college at least 48 hours in advance.
This fall, Silliman College began reimbursing students up to $50 for nonalcoholic beverages and food if they register a party in advance.
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