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Archive for Sunday, May 3, 1992

WILL ENFORCEMENT BE EQUAL?

May 3, 1992

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It will be interesting to observe how Kansas University officials deal with "open containers'' and the consumption of alcoholic beverages by KU students prior to and during the school's commencement ceremonies.

Not long ago, at the strong urging of KU officials, the city of Lawrence adopted a new policy on the consumption of alcoholic beverages on city property and the new law also applies to the consumption of such beverages on university property. In addition to actual consumption, the mere presence of open containers of such beverages is now illegal.

This policy makes it illegal for the consumption of alcoholic beverages at "tail gate'' parties prior to and after KU athletic events. Many alumni and friends of the university have expressed unhappiness and disappointment about the new policy which has been championed by KU officials.

If KU alumni and friends are to be arrested or told they cannot have alcoholic beverages as a part of pre- and post-game gatherings on university property, the same rules should apply to students, whether at KU athletic events or during commencement activities.

There have been many criticisms in past years of the drinking that has taken place among students at commencement ceremonies. Students were asked to deposit their bottles and cans of alcoholic beverages in trash barrels before entering the stadium but there were many who continued to consume their drinks after entering the stadium. And, there was no attempt by many students to hide their drinking while assembling for the commencement procession, and while strolling down the north slope of Mount Oread in the colorful, traditional graduation program.

Will KU and/or city police officers be patrolling the commencement area, will they actually arrest students seen drinking alcoholic beverages, and do they intend to be as strict in their enforcement of the new anti-drinking policy at commencement time as they intend to be for alumni and friends before and after KU athletic events?

It will be interesting to see if there is going to be one standard for students and another yardstick for alumni, friends and adults fans of KU.

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