The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

College receives tens of thousands in grant money to fund alcohol safety programs

Dean of Students Brian Samble hopes the funding from the alcohol safety grant will teach upperclassmen how to be responsible party hosts. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Communications)

This summer Lafayette was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to fund several programs that will promote responsible drinking in the college community, among them a party registration process that is set to begin Oct. 1.  

Funds from the Reducing Underage and Dangerous Drinking grant are given to schools and other institutions to fund programs that promote responsible alcohol consumption, according to Shawn Kelly, a spokesperson for the PA Liquor Control Board.  

Dean of Students Brian Samble said that the college applied for funding from the grant with the intention of offering programs that teach upperclassmen how to be responsible social hosts. One of the programs that the grant will help fund is the party registration process. 

Beginning in October, students intending to host a party – or a gathering with more than twenty guests at which alcohol will be present – should fill out a form on OurCampus 14 days before the party to notify the Dean of Students’ office. On the form, students will provide information including the host’s name and contact information, which will be shared with Public Safety.

Students need not wait for official approval for their parties upon submitting the form, although Samble noted that his office may respond with feedback and information about best practices. The host will receive a confirmation upon submitting the form that includes details about local ordinances. 

In return for notifying the Dean of Students Office about the party, some students will receive party packs, or bundles of food, for their events. The logic behind the program is to improve community policing and to foster more vibrant community life.

“The status quo is what students are experiencing now – these cat and mouse games, officers trying to figure out what’s going on, not knowing who to contact and confusion about what’s happening,” Samble said. “So I think this is an effort for the Dean of Students Office to reach out to students to say, ‘Let’s work together on this.’”

Samble envisions developing a closer relationship with Easton Police and eventually sharing the reports with them too. While parties at which laws are violated will be punished regardless of their registration status, Samble suggested that those involved with registered parties may be handled with a bit more leniency in case of an issue. 

“Not registering the party is saying that there is a conscious choice not to work with the college on a reasonable request … If a party is approached and yeah, there’s something going on in there that shouldn’t be, and it’s documented, that may not experience then as aggressive a charge [or a sanction] as a party that didn’t register … if they’re found responsible,” he said. 

Policies for Greek Life will remain unchanged, as fraternities and sororities are already required to register any events they host. Student groups and organizations will utilize the same form on OurCampus to register a party, although the Student Involvement office will be notified instead of the Dean of Students.   

Many other colleges, including Bryn Mawr, Franklin & Marshall and Muhlenberg College, have similar registration programs in place, Samble said. 

Beyond the party registration process, the money from the grant will fund other programs at Lafayette. 

Much of the money will be used to pay for eTIPS, an online alcohol server training course. Formerly required only for students living in off-campus housing, completion of eTIPS is now also mandatory for the entire junior class. According to Samble, Lafayette is the only college in the country to require an entire class of students to take this course.  

Additionally, the money from the grant will be used to fund increased patrols, public service announcements and assessments and evaluations.

Beyond Lafayette, other Lehigh Valley colleges that received funding from the grant include Lehigh University and Muhlenberg. The grant, which is allotted in two year cycles, will run from 2022 through spring 2024 

Samble said that he will assess the efficacy of the programs throughout the duration of the grant period. 

“I feel like Lafayette is really going to set a standard among not only our peer group, but all colleges in the country with an upper-class approach to responsible drinking and social hosting; [an approach] that doesn’t shame alcohol, but instead looks at promoting it responsibly,” he said. 

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About the Contributor
Nathan Kornfeind, Editor-in-Chief
Nathan Kornfeind is a senior from the Lehigh Valley studying  Government & Law and German, with a minor in History. He has been writing for The Lafayette since his first semester on campus. In addition to his role with the newspaper, he is the president of German Club.

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