Over-21 housing a possibility

Jessie Hellmann

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It’s possible that students can drink alcohol on campus if the USI administration approves of an initiative held by one SGA member.

Travis Dickision, Housing representative for SGA, is planning to work with Housing and Residence life to designate an area of housing for students who are 21 or older to drink in legally.

“It would be more of a reward, not a right,” Dickison said. “You have to be 21 and have a GPA of like 3.2 to 3.5.”

He said the GPA requirements are just estimated right now.

“I imagine we’re going to get a lot of resistance for sure,” he said. “They’re going to say we’re a dry campus.”

He said he will explore the idea sometime this month.

Laurie Berry, the director of Housing and Residence Life, said if the over-21 housing were adapted, it would definitely be a culture shock.

“I can’t say that I wouldn’t be interested in talking to anyone about it,” Berry said. “It would be a culture shock because we haven’t had over-21 housing in a long, long time.”

Until about 1993, USI was a “wet campus,” meaning students were of age were allowed to have alcohol in housing, Berry said.

Then, only two buildings were made over-21 housing, until none were, Berry said.

She said USI purchased Golden Tower Apartments at that time, so the university felt that students over 21 who wanted to drink could live there.

Then, USI relinquished the apartments, and over 21 housing just disappeared.

“We decided that it wasn’t the direction USI wanted to go on campus,” Berry said.

She said it’s not likely for USI to purchase off campus property like Golden Towers again. Housing hasn’t been filled to capacity for the last few years.

“I wouldn’t say that (over-21 housing) isn’t a possibility. … I think that will be on my radar as an administrator as well as others,” Berry said.

Sophomore exercise science major Brandon Edwards said the idea is good and bad.

“People who aren’t 21 could try to sneak over there,” he said.

He said he’s moving off campus next year and doesn’t drink, so the over-21 housing does not affect him.

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