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USD Policy Brings Booze Into Designated Dorms

February 7, 2012, 4:57 PM by Brady Mallory

USD Policy Brings Booze Into Designated Dorms
VERMILLION, SD - The University of South Dakota will soon become the first campus in the state to allow alcohol in residence halls.

Beginning this fall, students 21 and older will be able to bring booze into two designated residence halls, Coyote Village and McFadden, located near the Dakota Dome.

For students like sophomore Emily Anderson, it takes off limits to what she can do if she lives on campus next year.

"It makes it easier for me.  Not worrying about all these rules and regulations even though I'd be 21," Emily Anderson, who turns 21 in January, said.

Anderson, who is majoring in elementary education, said letting students who are old enough to drink bring alcohol into Coyote Village and McFadden could help keep her peers on campus when it is time for them to search for apartments. 

"A lot of us are more than capable of making the right decisions. Obviously, there will be people who don't make the right decisions," Anderson said.

Keeping all of these students in mind was the driving force behind this policy.  Associate Dean of Students Phil Covington said a lot of students have requested this type of policy.  He took their requests seriously because the student population is made up of much more than undergraduate students. 

"We may be talking about a 29-year-old law student who says, 'Seriously, I can't just sit down and have a beer while I watch the Super Bowl in my home?" Covington said.

There is not going to be any type of check-in policy, but for example, at Coyote Village officials would have you bring all closed alcohol containers through the front door. There is an employee at the front desk that will help monitor this.  Since underage students live in Coyote Village as well, students would be asked to show their IDs if underage drinking was suspected. 

Covington does not think this policy will encourage wild parties on campus.

"If anything, we think it will help because it can be revoked and students will want to protect that opportunity to have a drink at home," Covington said.

19-year-old sophomore Ian Finn, who lives in Coyote Village right now, sees this as a marketing opportunity to keep the population up on campus and entice students to pay pricey fees to live in these two apartment-style dorms.  Still, he does not think the new policy will affect where he lives when he is 21.

"I would rather be off campus. I don't think that this will be a new draw to the village. I think people are going to want to be off campus as it is anyways," Finn said.

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